Flooding in Punta Gorda after Hurricane Idalia

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Parking lots are flooded and roads have been turned into canals in Punta Gorda after Hurricane Idalia churned past Southwest Florida.

On Wednesday, the water was waist high, but by Thursday morning, most of it had receded.

Some residents were affected by the flooding.

Curtis Wezeman, a sailboat captain, has a lot tied up in his boat. He runs a sailboat charter out of Charlotte Harbor, but Idalia threatened to sink his business.

“This is a result of the storm surge that came up and over the sea wall here,” Wezeman said.

A seasoned sailor, he’s navigated rough waters before, but this storm was something different. The marina was in tatters, the docks shredded, and one large boat was underwater.

Wezeman watched the storm roll in and said winds came at just the right angle, carrying in large waves from Pine Island Sound.

“It took the docks and everything else that was part of the marina here,” Wezeman said.

His boat is just fine, only it’s now disconnected from the pier. Its dock washed away. Long ago, Wezeman named it Courageous, never thinking it would be put to the test.

“Having just survived Ian and thinking that was the mother of all hurricanes, but that was just wind damage as far here. This was storm surge damage, and it was far, far worse,” Wezeman said.

Thanks to some cleared-out storm drains, a lot of the water has since receded.

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