Flood victims in Geneva finally begin recovery as water from Hurricane Ian recedes

Community finally able to address damage wrought by storm more than a month ago

A month after Hurricane Ian, residents of the Geneva area are finally able to get a look at the damage caused by flooding from the storm.

GENEVA, Fla. – A frustrating wait is finally over for people living along the St. John’s River in Seminole County.

In Geneva, the slowly-draining St. John’s River has receded enough that homeowners can now see the scope of what it will take to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Ian filled their homes with water more than a month ago.

Many families have been able to drive to their homes only in the past few days.

The high water is finally gone after more than a month. Yards and driveways are still soggy and the leftover water is still standing.

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But enough water has dried up to do what the rest of Central Florida started doing a month ago — cleaning out, throwing out and figuring out how much it will all cost, how to get it done, and how long it will take.

Eddie Bertot has been tearing apart his son’s house now that it’s finally dry.

“The water came up to about two feet so we had to cut the drywall out all around,” Bertot said. “We’re letting it dry out. We’re going to have to pull up this flooring.”

One man working on his truck was replacing the brakes which seized because they were underwater for so long.

“The worst part is getting the sludge up because it’s contaminated with septic and there’s just fish all over the place,” he said.

People knew the news would not be good when they finally could get back inside their houses but they didn’t know how bad it would be.

Rob and Denise Rogers said they were on hold because they couldn’t get into their house without a boat and neither could an insurance adjuster.

“Our living quarters are safe,” the Rogers said. “Musty because we didn’t have power for 24 days.”

They just hired a mold remediation specialist to deal with the mold that has been growing inside their garage for those 24 days.

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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.