SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Part of State Road 46 remains closed in east Seminole County where water covers the road in Geneva towards Mims two weeks after Hurricane Ian. The water is slowly receding across the county, leaving 93 roads impassable as of Friday afternoon.
Down at the Riverwalk in Sanford, streets and sidewalks close to Marina Isle remain underwater. Crews have started to clear out debris as parts of the pavement are revealed.
The cleanup is also underway in neighborhoods in Altamonte Springs, where the Little Wekiva River flooded homes in the Spring Oak subdivision. Homeowners have started to haul damaged drywall and belongings curbside.
In Geneva, boats remain tied to stop signs and fences near Jungle Road and Crossover Lane. The road still looks like a river leading to Whitcomb Road on Lake Harney.
“We’re considering driving, maybe not to the house, but halfway down to it,” said Bob Boulanger.
Boulanger brought his furniture to dry land. It now sits on the side of Jungle Road which has become a hub for the neighborhood.
“We only thought we could save these five pieces, so they’re here. They’re a little moldy,” said Boulanger.
Boulanger says he still has over a foot of water inside parts of his home on Whitcomb Road. Some of his neighbors on the other end of the street are starting to bring dryers to their homes.
Wading through the water remains common for homeowners near Lake Harney, Lake Monroe and Lake Jesup.
“Living here, you know that and expect that. What you don’t expect is a 500-year flood or a 1,000-year flood,” said Lee Ford.
Ford’s lakefront property on Wacassa Street is now part of Lake Harney. He estimates the damage from Hurricane Ian will cost him up to $60,000. He remains without power and without access to his home, and he’s now dealing with denials from insurance companies.
“It’s heartbreaking to know that, you know, somebody who’s supposed to be there for you, your insurance companies, that’s what you pay for. They’re not here. And the only caring they show you is saying, ‘I’m sorry,’” said Ford. “You know, I’ve been in combat. I’m sorry doesn’t get it done when you’re writing a letter home to somebody, you know, and it’s the same principle here. ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t going to get it done.”
Ford says his neighbors are facing the same problem. Many are not getting anything from the flood insurance program but say they have received some help from FEMA. They hope as the water continues to recede in the coming weeks, adjusters will be able to better assess the damage once they can access the homes.
“If you lose your house to wind, they’re paying that. But what if your house is lost because of a tidal wave? When you read the fine print, it’s not covered. That’s the part that really is scary,” said Ford.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: