ASTOR, Fla. - For the first time in 53 days the St. Johns River, near the city of Astor, has finally dropped below flood stage of 2.8 feet after reaching record levels after Hurricane Irma in September.
Astor became completely waterlogged. Tropical rain combined with weeks of runoff accumulated into the river, rising it to near record levels, inundating streets and even homes. Some neighbors relying on kayaks and canoes to get to and from their homes as the river reached near record levels.
"A flood is one of the most devastating things that can happen to your home. Everything is still there but nothing is any good" said Sherman Bennett, an Astor resident.
As the cleanup finally began heavy rains in Brevard County sent a new wave of floodwaters to rush right back into the streets early October.
"Just when everyone started cleaning up and everyone started pressure washing, the water came back up and made quite a mess' Bennett said.
So now almost seven weeks later, residents like Sherman Bennett know it will take time to recover. But Bennett is confident the town he loves will flourish once again.
"I think some of the older people have said that they are going to sell their homes, but as far as the community, I don't think the community is giving up," said Bennett.
One of the first big steps to getting the community back to normal was the opening of the boat ramps this week, allowing locals and tourists to enjoy the Saint Johns River once again.
Although residents are happy to see this, they are pleading to boaters to play close attention to "no wake" zones, as river water can still be pushed into homes.
If you would like to help the Astor community, they are hosting a BBQ competition on Nov. 25, near Sparky's BBQ to help raise money to help the flood victims.
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