President Joe Biden plans to visit the Big Bend region of Florida this weekend to survey the damage left behind from Hurricane Idalia.
Residents have a long road ahead of them as they pick up the pieces.
The storm smacked the coast as a powerful Category 3 storm on Wednesday and brought record storm surge to some areas.
It will take weeks, months and maybe even years for some people in the coastal communities to recover from the hit. It’s the first time a major hurricane made a direct hit on the area in recorded history but resilience is the key word for residents.
Steinhatchee is a small town with big memories for many of our viewers. It’s a quaint village known for scalloping and fishing.
“The water got about two feet over my head. And so about a 13-foot surge, and so we’ve just been cleaning up mainly mud and trying to get everything cleared out so we can get back open,” said Danielle Norwood, owner of Sea Hag Marina.
Sea Hag Marina, a popular spot with bait, tackle, and a bar, has been through this before. The shop went underwater in 2016 during Hurricane Hermine. This time the water went much higher.
Power crews from across the state, including crews from Jacksonville, are now in the Big Bend area getting utilities up and running again.
Gov. Ron DeSantis visited on Thursday to see the damage firsthand.
“We’re now 48 hours after landfall and there are approximately 91,000 power outages reported throughout the state. There have been 476,000 accounts that have been restored since the storm hit the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
Satellite images over the town of Suwannee along the Suwannee River show before and after the storm. Canals are now filled with debris and small buildings shifted.
The state is still surveying the damage and helicopter images showed destruction in coastal areas like Crystal River, Cedar Key and Horseshoe Beach.
“It’s the worst storm we’ve ever been through but we’re going to rebuild. Horseshoe will never be the same,” one resident said.
Resilience said they’ll be back soon with a little help from their neighbors.
DeSantis said he’s working on getting federal funding to help those hit the hardest and added that the state already has money earmarked for recovery efforts.