As Tropical Storm Debby was dropping record amounts of rain on our area last month, a Lake City woman was shooting home video and snapping photos of the water rising on her family's property.
One of those photos, she emailed to Channel 4's Chief Meteorologist John Gaughan.
One month later, John drove to Lake City to meet this young woman, Loren Sweet, along with the rest of her family. Driving up to the property, John could immediately tell the roadway and the driveway was brand new, but what he saw when he rounded the corner even shocked him.
The Sweet family's home is still partially submerged under rain water and they've lost just about everything.
John asked Loren's father, Paul Sweet what nearby lake overflowed during Debby to cause this.
"There is no lake," replied Paul.
Debby's rains started falling Sunday night, June 24. By Tuesday, the water on Paul's property was rising into the family's home.
"So it was actually moving water then," asked John. "Real Fast. I had never seen that before," replied Paul.
Paul, his wife Amy, his 14-year-old son Hunter and the recent college grad Loren, all escaped with what's important: their lives and their pets. But, when the decision came to leave their home, they were only able to grab a few personal items.
"I think the biggest mistake that we made was that we tried to save everything in the yard. We were focused on that. We never thought that it would get to the house. By the time it got to the house it was almost too late to save much," explained Paul.
By Wednesday night, the water reached the top of their roof. Nearly everything left inside and out was destroyed.
The Sweet family never bought flood insurance. Not because they couldn't pay for it, but because they don't live in a designated flood zone
"When the hurricanes came over in '04 there was some water but this was really a big shock," said Paul.
The family says FEMA has been by to see the damage Debby caused, but with standing water still partially submerging the property, the agency can only survey what's visible above the water.
Inside the home, you can smell the mold as soon as you walk in. Everything appears warped and ruined. Only a few of Hunter's football trophies are salvageable.
Hunter is grateful some of the trophies he won over the past seven years weren't completely destroyed, but he's shaken by the storm.
Hunter recalled, "I seen [the water] come out of the motor home. [My father] woke me up. He told me to start packing my clothes. I started packing and helped get stuff outside. I didn't know what was going to happen."
Hunter also said he is saddened by how much his family did lose and he's worried about how much his parents are struggling now, just to keep a roof over their heads.