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Water-Related News

Hurricane Ian shelters remain open in Sarasota County as rivers flood homes

North Port is the largest area of Sarasota County overwhelmed with flooding but many throughout the county had to deal with rising water.

On Sunday, Governor Ron DeSantis said the city of North Port experienced the worst flooding in the state.

Rain from Hurricane Ian poured into the Myakka River last week, flooding homes and neighborhoods and trapping hundreds of people in south Sarasota County.

Many have been rescued by air boats and canoes. Others who fled before the storm made landfall were unable to return home. Evacuated residents are finding shelter at Venice High School.

Cynthia Royds and her husband John live in an area of North Port where Sarasota and Charlotte counties meet.

The night Hurricane Ian came through, the wind was howling outside their home near the Cocoplum Waterway, a 13-mile stream located in the Myakka River Watershed.

"And my husband and I for four hours stood out in our garage holding the door from blowing in so that our house would be saved,” she said through tears.

It was a long night. But by morning, the couple saw that their home was mostly fine.

Looking out a window, they saw a few stucco roof tiles on the front lawn and a small tree collapsed near-- but not on-- their screened lanai.

The view of their street however was more worrisome with water creeping up to their driveway.

There are man-made canals all throughout North Port, and a lot of other towns and that's one of the issues with flooding here,” she said. “We only live about 2 or 3 blocks from a canal, so, I said c'mon we're leaving.”