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Florida neighborhood still underwater 3 months after Hurricane Ian

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Posted at 10:26 AM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 12:26:45-05

DAVENPORT, Fla. — It’s been several months since Hurricane Ian made landfall, but one Florida community is still underwater.

Hurricane season has come and gone, but about 3 feet of water from Hurricane Ian remains in a Davenport community.

“What you’re seeing has never occurred here before,” said Fred Daniell.

Daniell has lived in his home for 22 years and has never experienced flooding like this. Daniell lives next to a lake. He said a seawall that was built for a new subdivision nearby changed the water flow, which he believes is causing his neighborhood to flood.

“As these subdivisions are being built and the water flows into the lake, there’s nowhere for that water to go. Recently, if you look over here to my left, this is the last new subdivision that went in,” said Daniell.

He is having to pump water out of his shed, and his house is now collapsing at one end.

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“I’ve built a dyke around the home in order to protect the home. There are pumps running to keep the water out from under it,” Daniell said. “The sad part is FEMA denied my claim because I have flood insurance. Flood insurance in order to save the home tells me they’ll pay back $1,000, and I've spent $7,000.”

His neighbor has water up to the back wall of her house.

“It’s very frustrating. Our septic is kind of iffy. You have to really watch what you put down the drains,” Beverly Brewer said.

Daniell is now asking the county to put in pipes to pump the water out.

A Polk County commissioner has come out to access the property.

“The way I’ve calculated, it’s going down 3 inches a month. So, it’s going to take a year for the water level to go down with absolutely zero rain, and here in Davenport, that’s impossible,” Daniell said.

This article was written by Rebecca Petit for WFTS.