Dixie County Residents Left With Little Flooding Relief


Dixie County residents are frustrated with monthslong recovery efforts and are left wondering when their homes will be drained from floods that hit them over the summer.

After Tropical Storm Elsa and heavy rainstorms hit Dixie County in July, 40-year-old Robert Rinard and his wife, Diane, evacuated their flooded old town home to live in an RV with their two kids and three dogs.

Two months later, the Rinards move back home and are welcomed with underwater roads, snakes around the house and their lawn still flooded by about four feet of water.

Robert and Diane Rinard stand behind their two huskies, Diesel and Chloe, in front of their flooded front yard. (Jake Reyes/WUFT News)

Robert said their home does not qualify for flood insurance because it’s not in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood zone. He said the county hasn’t been much help in draining the water and providing resources.

County commissioner Jody Stephenson said the county has declared a state of emergency and is clearing roads for residents to get in their homes.

However, Stephenson said there’s not much they can do without more resources from the state and federal government.

FEMA recently determined Dixie County as ineligible to receive federal aid, but Dixie County emergency services spokesperson, Mandy Lemmerman, said this just means the county hasn’t been denied or approved.

In the meantime, she says the American Red Cross and local businesses have been providing tools and food to disaster victims

County emergency services will meet with United Way this week to discuss what the non-profit organization can do for them.

Dogs run through severely flooded areas in Dixie County. (Jake Reyes/WUFT News)

About Jake Reyes

Jake is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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