VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Floodwaters started receding on Saturday, giving Daytona Beach residents a first glimpse at how much damage was done to their homes.
“The water here was up to here in the house,” said Katie Thigpen, referring to her waist.
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Thigpen said she had no choice but to sit inside her home on Kington Street and watch as the water gushed in while Hurricane Ian roared outside.
“The water started coming in, and I started throwing on bedspreads and everything. I had over 40 sandbags,” she said.
She said she and other members of her family gathered on a single bed as the waters rose around them.
“I literally sat on the side of my bed, this morning, and just looked and asked, ‘Lord what am I going to do? What am I going to do?’”
News 6 toured several Daytona Beach neighborhoods on Saturday, which also appeared to be drying out slowly.
Residents who live along South Street, which was covered with water chest-deep, were able to move some of their cars.
To the north, residents who live along the Tomoka River were salvaging what they could from their homes.
“We’re not without resources, we’re not destitute, but we’re in trouble,” said Lisa Chiarizzi.
Lisa and her husband Bruce waded through their home barefoot trying to get work uniforms and valuables.
“It’s beyond words,” said Bruce. “This was our whole life. We planned to retire here.”
People impacted by floodwaters and wind damage are now eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
To apply for assistance, go to disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
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