MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- Six months ago, the only way Gary Criswell could get to his driveway was by boat. "I've never seen water go through this property and over that road. It was an absolute mess," he said.
Black Creek hugs his two-story home. But in June the banks swallowed it after Tropical Storm Debby dumped more than 25 inches of rain in Northeast Florida. "It came up quick. So we really weren't prepared," said Criswell.
"We are still recovering from that event," said Clay Fire Chief Lorin Mock. Chief Mock said flood waters damaged more than 600 homes in the area, and many of them are still rebuilding.
"The county is still processing almost 1.2 million dollars worth of flood assistance that we are working with FEMA to receive," said Mock.
This hurricane season produced 19 named storms, 10 became hurricanes. None of them directly hit Clay County, but Mock says they didn't have to.
"Flooding and winds from those tropical systems can impact you from 100s of miles away," said Mock.
It's a lesson homeowners like Gary may have learned the hard way, but it's one they will never forget. "We are ready for it next time. That's all you can do," said Criswell.
This is the seventh straight year no hurricanes directly hit Florida.