Flooding has receded in Orlando-area neighborhood, but residents return to find homes in ruins

Monday was the first day many could go back inside their Orlovista homes without wading through flood water. They opened their doors to find destruction.

One homeowner showed us a video of him wading through waste deep water to save family photos from the wall during the storm. He used a jet ski to get there.

"The water, little by little, coming in more and more until you have flooding," said Javier Cruz. "That’s when I had to get out of the house and abandon everything. At that point, we just leave with what we have on."

The flood water encompassed several blocks of the neighborhood.

"This is the worst we’ve ever seen it," said Julius Amos, who has lived in the same home for more than 30 years. "It’s worse than it was five years ago."


Closest to the water was the home hit the hardest by the flooding. Appliances were knocked over and everything else inside was destroyed.

People in Orlovista still trying to work out what they're going to do next.

"To be honest, I don’t really know what’s going to happen next," Cruz said.

"The first of January, I’ll be 83 years young, and I don’t want to go through this again," Amos said.

"Most of the people in this community don’t have flood insurance," said Derby Phicil, a loss consultant trying to help homeowners file insurance claims.

Phicil still told people they should keep track of everything they lost, so they can send it to FEMA.

"Basically anything the floodwaters touches is not going to be covered by your policy," Phicil said.