• Clay families still rebuilding 10 months post-Irma

    By: Christy Turner , Action News Jax


    Dozens gathered for a community resource meeting in Clay County, ten months after Hurricane Irma.

    County, state, and federal representatives were on hand to help homeowners through the rebuilding process.

    Clay County saw catastrophic flooding, especially in the Black Creek area.

    Thirteen-hundred homes were impacted during the storm. Of those, 500 were heavily damaged or destroyed, including Cheryl and Jon Villalva’s home in Green Cove Springs.

    “It was a long rebuilding process,” Mr. Villalva said.

    After ten months of rebuilding, they finally moved back into their home this past Saturday.

    “It’s been a lot, but it’s been a lot to be thankful for because we didn’t lose as much as other people to it when they lost their whole house. We were able to rebuild, “Mrs. Villalva said.

    John Ward, the Director of Emergency Management in Clay County, said Irma was a shock to a lot in the community.

    “We got a lot of residents that are still living in travel trailers and gutted out homes or vacant homes,” Ward said.

    He said other resources, like the Flood Management Assistance Program and Community Development Block Grant, will be available in the coming future.

    However, Ward said after the application period opens it could take 10 to 12 months until it is finalized.

    If you have any questions, Ward said you can go to the ALERT Clay County web site or FEMA

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