Sanford 'Octoberfest' becomes 'Novemberfest' as flooding from Ian finally recedes

As people filled their cups with imported German beer, downtown Sanford is also filled with a sense of normalcy. Sanford's Octoberfest was supposed to be on October 14, on the still-flooded Seminole Boulevard. Moving just a block up the street, organizers are relieved to pull it off.

"We have had a really interesting couple of weeks since the hurricane," said Christina Hollerbach, the CEO of Hollerbach's German Restaurant. "Obviously, the damage behind me is severe. Lake Monroe was kind of where all the water went. So, even a couple of weeks ago the water level was in this courtyard, all the way down the street."

The city has been working around the clock to clean up the mess. Road crews have already found several potholes and are taking samples of the soil underneath.

"Anytime you get a storm like that, it’s never fun," said Pete Wilson, Sanford's street superintendent. "You watch the very streets you take care of all the time, and now all of a sudden they’re underwater. So, all we can do is just watch it and wait."

Parks by the lake will likely need new grass and landscaping, and it might be too early to tell what damage has been done to the trails.

During their work, crews are encountering more wildlife than usual.

"Anything from gators, snakes, wild marsh hares," said Robert Beall, Sanford's parks operations manager.

The city thinks all the water will be off Seminole Boulevard in a week or so.

Octoberfest goes on through Sunday.