Debbie continued to drop large amounts of rain across Florida today, forcing residents in low lying areas from their homes. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the rain also forced the closing of the major East-West highway in Northeast Florida.
Shirley Hendrickson and her family spent Tuesday trying to salvage some of their belongings. She was awakened at one a.m. to find water in her house.
“By then there was water in the house already past our ankles,” Hendrickson said. “Now, it’s up past our knees in there. I lost everything I got; my computer, my TV.”
Dozens of homes in this Live Oak neighborhood are flooded.
The biggest fear in this neighborhood is that the water isn’t done rising, and that it will get worse tomorrow and the next day.
The water rose several inches while we watched.
“I had to go try to swim in and save somebody, because he didn’t want to leave the house, you know, he was an older resident,” resident Saione Williams said.
The rising water also forced the closing of interstate 10 late Monday night. It remained closed Tuesday.
“The interstate being closed inconveniences everybody, but safety is priority,” state trooper Al Hughes said.
The closure resulted in a 25 mile detour that left many motorists baffled.
“Where do I go? I’m trying to get to Coco Beach.”
“So how do we get to Jacksonville?”
In Tallahassee, the state’s emergency management director told the Governor and Cabinet the worst danger may be yet to come.
“Oftentimes in these storms, it’s not the actual storm that causes injuries or death, it’s the cleanup process,” Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon said. “So you need to make sure you don’t enter standing water.”
The flooding is expected to continue throughout the week.