EDGEWATER, Fla. – It’s been three weeks since Hurricane Ian rocked Volusia County and cities are still working overtime to keep up with the debris removal.
City leaders in Edgewater said Thursday they have an unprecedented amount of debris and it could be into 2023 that residents see it all cleaned up.
“Maybe 60% to 70% of the inside was gone. That’s a huge majority of the stuff gone,” said resident Dan Mongosa, pointing to a large pile of his belongings in his yard.
Mongosa, like many residents, is still trying to figure out what’s salvageable from their homes.
“As bad as this is it was just gut-retching seeing all of the personal stuff ruined,” he said.
Mongosa’s house was under at least three feet of water. Now, most of his family’s belongings are on the curb and the pile’s still growing.
“You don’t know what you got until it’s gone and then when it’s gone you forget that you had it still sometimes so it got to the point that I almost didn’t want to see what was ruined because if I don’t see it and realize it’s ruined, maybe I’ll forget about it and not realize it’s gone,” he said.
The city said 958 properties in Edgewater had obvious damage.
“We had nearly 20 inches of rain in Edgewater with this storm which is an unprecedented amount of water,” said the city’s Communications Director Jill Danigel.
She said as of Thursday, workers had picked up 437 loads and almost 20,000 cubic yards of debris.
“We’re doing it seven days a week and we anticipate it’ll take three to four months to get all of the debris,” she said.
Many residents understand the delay getting to them.
“Oh my gosh, have you looked around? Of course, it’s going to take a while,” said resident Mary Mars.
Mars said it’s been hard watching scrappers come by and go through what were once cherished personal belongings. She said she’s seen the city working and they were even able to get some of the drywall in her yard cleared.
“I put it all in black construction bags and they came and took those so that was nice to get rid of all that. Just anything that left made you feel a little better,” she said.
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