Flooded again: Davis Shores community rebuilds after Matthew, experiences flooding from Irma

The neighborhood was hit by Matthew in October, and again by Irma after several residents repaired from the previous damages.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -  When you look at the Barnwell family's house, the insides of the home are now on the outside on the curb; It's all water-damaged belongings because their home was flooded by Irma.

"We're a little bit out of gas right now," Scott Barnwell said.

He's talking about emotional gas. Their home, like so many others in the Davis Shores neighborhood, got a double whammy. It was flooded once by Hurricane Matthew last year, and now Hurricane Irma flooded the home again.

He and his wife, Noel Barnwell, are now ripping out water-damaged belongings, just like they did after Hurricane Matthew.

Noel Barnwell shook her head about Matthew. "It was a once-in-a-hundred-year storm, right?" she asked.

A few things are different now since then.

In between those storms, they became parents to a sweet little baby boy.

They also learned some lessons from Matthew. This time around, the Barnwells, like some of their neighbors, raised their furniture above the ground.

"It saved my furniture," Noel said.

Another difference: the water level in their home was 7 inches high which is 8 inches less than it was after Matthew. They did more to protect their home.

"We did everything we could," she said. "We filled every hole we could find with silicone. We covered over all the vents."

Scott Barnwell is also noticing a slower response from insurance companies this year.

"I just stopped by the insurance company office this morning, and it could be a month before we see an adjuster," he said. "All the adjusters are in the Texas area."

So now, they're throwing out the damaged belongings and boxing up what can be saved. They can't live in their damaged home now, even though they repaired it after Matthew.

The Barnwells are coming back to Davis Shores.

"There's not a lot of neighborhoods like this," Noel said. "I've got neighbors here now helping out."

Right now, now they're making it through with friends, family and perseverance.

"I keep telling people I can't dwell on it because I will," she said. "I will get mad."

The Barnwell's plan to elevate their home in order to remain in a place that has flooded twice in 11 months.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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