Sally brings flooding to already saturated SWFL

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Residents of Sanibel are dealing with severe flooding from what is now Hurricane Sally.

Sally moved westward over Collier County on Sunday as a tropical storm before entering the Gulf and strengthening.

On the island, they’ve had more than 20 inches of rain in the past nine days and streets and yards are currently underwater, leaving some worried about their homes. Some parts of the island saw upwards of 8 inches in a short period.

The standing water on a section of Southwinds Drive is shin-high in the street and up to the doors of some homes.

Other parts of Sanibel are still feeling the impacts of Sally after rain pounded the island all weekend long.

Tom Schmidt described it as “noisy like we had a small hurricane,” saying his yard was looking more like a pond.

He was here for Hurricane Irma and said the flooding from Sally doesn’t compare, “This was much worse. I knew this morning it was rising. We have things in our downstairs and I thought wow, it might actually get in there and breach it.”

Schmidt was lucky.

No water made its way inside his home. He went to check on neighbors’ homes who weren’t so fortunate.

Mayor Kevin Ruane agrees that a rain band from Sally hit them harder than they expected. “Probably one-in-a-hundred type of event. I have cities that have never flooded here flood. When you get that amount of rain, 7, 8, 9 inches, there’s nowhere for it to go.”

All that’s left to do is wait for the floodwaters to go down.

The mayor said he’s looking into finding money to help people with clean up and damage repairs. Right now, he hopes everyone is patient and careful as the waters recede.

Bonita Springs

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