David and Shannon Harris are one of seven people profiled in the Five Feet High and #Rising documentary which set out to tell the stories of those impacted by Hurricane Irma's historic and catastrophic flooding. The documentary airs Thanksgiving at 5 p.m.
“It was a very crushing thing to come back and see the little bit we had built up was just gone.”
David Harris got exactly two weeks of married life with Shannon before Hurricane Irma forced them out and ruined their home.
Like many San Marco residents, they left not because they really believed they needed to, but just to be safe.
“We’ve got a friend up in Charlotte,” Shannon says. “We were going to make a mini vacay out of it.”
Before they left, Shannon tied up the hem of her wedding dress – just in case. She put her computer on a high shelf. Everything else, including their wedding gifts, and a new vacuum specially designed to pick up dog hair from their puppy, Preacher, was destroyed.
“The only time I got emotional was when I saw the vacuum,” Shannon says with a small laugh. “For some reason, that vacuum cleaner was like the symbol of the big thing we got when we got married, and it was so exciting were going to do this life together you know? And then seeing that was hard.”
For David, the stress of the disaster was compounded by what felt like a new level of responsibility.
“It’s different caring about what happens to me, and caring about what happens to my wife,” he says. “It was very crushing thing to come back and see the little bit we had built up was just gone.”
For a couple just starting out, the timing could not have been worse. Then again, David says, it may have been lucky.
“I guess in a way it helps we’re still in the honeymooner phase,” he says. “It’s still new and exciting.”
After this story aired, Shannon and David's friends reached out to First Coast News. They have set up a GoFundMe for the couple. You can donate here.