50 structures flooded, $1.5M in damage, Port Orange officials say

Heavy rains flood parts of Central Florida

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - Flooding across Central Florida, especially in Volusia County, closed several roads and forced families out of their homes.

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Port Orange officials said on Wednesday 44 homes and 6 non-residential structures were flooded, for an estimated damage amount of $1.5 million.

U.S. 92 eastbound near Interstate 95 and the northbound on-ramp from U.S. 92 to I-95 were shut down on Wednesday because of flooding.

The northbound exit ramp from I-95 to U.S. 92 is reduced to one lane. Dunlawton Avenue will reopen Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. to one lane each way after the flooding.

Firefighters said on Tuesday flood waters entered 10 New Smyrna Beach homes in total -- five homes on Westwood Avenue, three on Fairmont Avenue, one home on Chester Avenue and another on Pioneer Trail.

Ashlee Dzubella said firefighters rescued her dogs, but her home on Westwood had more than 1 foot of water inside.

"My house, everything that I have in there, is ruined," she said.

New Smyrna Beach Maintenance Operation crews spent the evening pumping water from affected areas in the Isleboro subdivision, north of the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport and west of U.S. 1.

Worried neighbors checked on each other as homeowners watched water rise. Some came home to danger right in their front yard.

"My neighbor's tree had fallen down into my driveway and it brought down the wire with it," said Lisa Fuller, whose home has caution tape around it and the downed wire.

Some neighbors complained their streets flood any time it rains. They said it's never been this bad before, but they are angry at the city, saying a newly-paved street is to blame.

Neighbors spent the night cleaning up, but for others, there's little they can do. After two hours of heavy rain, homeowners trudged through several feet of standing water only to find that water had pushed its way into their homes.

"Inside, we're getting about a foot of water in right now. We have a 4-foot deck on the side of the house that's floating out there in the backyard right now," said Scott Statkus, whose home on Westwood was surrounded by water.

He spent the night inside with his family.

"We've got to wait now to get back into the house. We've got power and everything, but I'll carry the kids on my shoulder and take them back over there tonight. We have nowhere else to stay, only house we have."

The Red Cross offered displaced families a place to stay, but none took the offer, firefighters said.

Port Orange officials said its city received about 7 inches of rain Tuesday night, prompting several road closures.

The city also made sandbags available to its residents.  The bags and dirt are available at the fire stations Nos. 71 and 72 while supplies last.  Residents must bring shovels to fill their own bags, and the city said double-lined trash bags work just as well as sandbags.

Station 71 is at 4200 Ridgewood Ave. and Station 72 is at 6027 Central Park Blvd.

In Edgewater, sand piles are available to residents at Fire Station 57, 2628 Hibiscus Drive. City officials say all roads in Edgewater remain passable and no flooding into homes or businesses has been reported.

Meanwhile, Local 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges said more rain is on the way. 

[VIDEO:  Local 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges' webcast]

"We're tracking more heavy rain on top of Volusia County for Wednesday morning," he said.

The record daily rainfall on Wednesday for Daytona Beach was 4.22 inches, which was set in 1974.  Between midnight and 7 a.m. Wednesday, however, nearly 8 inches of rain fell in Daytona Beach, Bridges said.

"More rain will fall into the afternoon and evening across Central Florida as an area of low pressure spins along the Volusia County coast," Bridges added.

The coverage of rain will be at 70 percent into Wednesday afternoon.

High temperatures in the Orlando area will warm to 88 degrees Wednesday afternoon.

Rain chances will be at 50 percent through the weekend.

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