Daytona Beach residents still rebuilding from hurricanes, many families displaced

Many people living in the Midtown neighborhoods of Daytona Beach are still out of their homes. Many simply don’t have the money to rebuild fast enough, and it’s displacing children in school and their families. 

Residents of Willie Drive still have tarps on their roofs, storage units, in their yards, and debris on the street. 

Anthony Lee showed us pictures of his 84-year-old mother’s home. Her walls were covered in mold. All the walls had to be gutted. 

"When I talk about it, I get a little emotional," said Lee. 

Lee, 64, has lived on the street for 35 years ago. He said the flooding in the area has gotten worse over the years. 

"The city said the last time we got destroyed that they fixed the problem. The excuse was that pumps weren’t working," said Lee. "It’s the third time the pumps don’t work."

Lee has seen new developments go up around him being built on higher ground. This has put his neighborhood at what feels like the bottom of a bowl. 

Even just a few blocks over, an entire neighborhood of over 100 families has been displaced. 

The city's housing authority said they are working to repair the homes. 

"He assured us that he has no intentions of letting that go to waste," said District 6 Commissioner Paula Reed. "They are in the process of acquiring funds to bring those people back."

Until then, the people of the Caroline Villages are living in other government-funded housing. Reed believes this has forced some children out of school. 

"Children may not be able to attend their regular schools, go to school or get to school because they may be out of the area where the bus may normally get them. Their parents may not have transportation. The case affects the entire family," said Reed. 

To help families rebuild, the City of Daytona has set aside $2.5 million in funding. Homeowners can apply to receive up to in support. 

For people like Lee who have already spent every dollar they have in the bank, they are left praying for help. 

"There’s not much you can worry about just believe everything’s going to be all right, but it’s hard," said Lee.