WEEKI WACHEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Hernando County residents walked an 8 On Your Side crew through their homes and showed us thousands of dollars worth of uninsurable damage—and they did so with a smile on their face, saying rebuilding over and over is worth it when you live in paradise.
For longtime Weeki Wachee resident Steve Knapp, flooding is nothing new.
“I’ve been through Hermine that flooded here, the ‘No Name’ storm; you can never take anything for granted when you’re living out here,” he said.
Knapp tried weathering Hurricane Idalia from his home, but as the water began to rise, he loaded up his dog on a kayak and headed to higher ground.
He spent Friday morning mopping out the water left behind out of his garage.
“That’s the price of paradise,” he said. “No one should be felt sorry for out here.”
“They’ve been knowing the risks of the sea level rising, the tides and stuff, it’s the risk you take when you come out here,” Knapp continued.
It’s the risk he says you take for a view of a beautiful river—a view residents like Max Harding get to wake up to every morning.
“I feel sorry for everybody that doesn’t get to do it and experience this,” Harding said. “It’s just part of life.”
“I’ve got no regrets at all,” he continued.
Harding walked us through his home to see the damage.
“Everything is dirty; everything is messed up,” he said. “It’ll take days and days, maybe weeks to fix it.”
He says water came up over two feet into his home, ruining his belongings and electrical outlets.
“Refrigerators, stoves, washer and dryer machines are all things that can be replaced,” Harding explained.
But he and Knapp agree, even with the immense damage Hurricane Idalia left behind, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
When asked if it was worth the hassle, Knapp told WFLA “Oh yes, I’ll go through this until the day I die.”
Below is information about debris removal in Hernando County.