PACE — Approximately 12 homes flooded following nearly 12 inches of rain in 12 hours starting the night of June 6, according to Santa Rosa County Emergency Management. As the county transitions from emergency to assessment, officials ask those affected to let them know where they live for future grant opportunities.
Denise Black faced the flood in her family’s Old Guernsey Road home alone Tuesday night as her husband and their four daughters were at Christian Life Church’s youth camp.
“Two rooms were under five to six inches of water,” Black said. “I literally watched the water rise, stop, and recede within three hours. My front porch was a river that came right up to the door but never crossed the threshold. Outside, the water carved a deep hole on the north side of the house, which is where the flooding began. It also carved out a huge cave under the driveway depositing the dirt like a path through the woods. More of the berm holding our backyard was lost and will need repair if we want to keep a backyard. All in all, we were blessed that it wasn't worse."
The Blacks don’t have flood insurance. They canceled their policy right before the 2014 flood.
“We were paying $300 (roughly) a year when we canceled,” Black said. “They wanted $9000 a year when we asked…They said it was because we had been zoned wrong and we were now in a flood zone.”
On Facebook, county Emergency Management said it received 70 calls and five in-person visits regarding the flooding. Fire departments also responded to five instances of the flood stranding people.
Floodwater often contains infectious organisms, according to Santa Rosa County EM. These include intestinal bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and shigella; Hepatitis A; and agents of typhoid, paratyphoid, and tetanus. People should not consume anything contaminated by floodwater and should use gloves and wash with soap after handling items contaminated by the water.
There’s also the risk of floodwater containing hazardous chemicals or electrical hazards.
The county also needs to know the address of every home directly affected by the flood, Commissioner Sam Parker said.
“(That is) huge to be able to document for future purposes, especially grant type funding and (Federal Emergency Management Agency) assistance to show residents suffering over and over,” he said.
Santa Rosa County Public Works has roadwork ahead following the storm.
A junction box of major storm pipe meets under the intersection of Chumuckla Highway and Norris Road in Pace near the high school, according to Public Works Director Stephen Furman. Pressure from the storm water, he said, caused the lid on this box to raise and lifted a piece of asphalt above it creating a road hazard.
The county also released a notice of future Woodbine Road construction to last from June 12 to June 16 on the section of road north of Ronny’s Car Wash to just north of Pearl Ridge Drive. Drivers should expect delays.