Monday, October 17, 2016

HURRICANES - St Augustine, Florida

"How the country's oldest city weathered Hurricane Matthew" PBS NewsHour 10/10/2016


SUMMARY:  To get a sense of the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, Hari Sreenivasan traveled to St Augustine, Florida.  The city, billed as the oldest in the country, was devastated by last week's storm.  We tour one of its hardest-hit areas, where sewage litters the streets and residents were just allowed back on Saturday.  As for the city as a whole, only half its residents were able to evacuate.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Earlier in the program, we told you about the record-breaking flooding in North Carolina.  Hurricane Matthew also left a wake of damage on its way to North Carolina along the coasts of three states.

Billed as the oldest city in America, St Augustine, Florida, was one of the places that felt the storm's might.  The small coastal town of nearly 14,000, which dates back to the 16th century, is only now emerging from this weekend's storm.

I was there yesterday.

It looked like one big garage sale on Solana Road in St Augustine, Florida.  But everything in the front yards was contaminated, couches, mattresses, family keepsakes all soaked by the floods after Hurricane Matthew.  Families were racing to get it all out before the moisture turned to mold and made its way into the walls.

MAYOR NANCY SHAVER, St Augustine:  When you evacuate, you take only the things that you really find irreplaceable.  But this is the whole — these are all the things that may be replaceable, but they're what give you something to come home to.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Mayor Nancy Shaver took us to one of the low-lying areas that was hardest-hit.  The sewer pumps were still offline, meaning underground waste was overflowing onto the street.  Residents were only allowed back into the area Saturday.

NANCY SHAVER:  Your home is where you're supposed to go to be peaceful, restful, be with your family, sleep, eat.  And none of these things are possible in these homes.

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