Impact of Hurricane Irma still being felt in San Marco nearly a year later

Many shop owners in San Marco lost everything to storm, flooding

By Zachery Lashway - Reporter/anchor, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's been nearly a year since Hurricane Irma ripped through Jacksonville, leaving a wide path of destruction and massive flooding in its wake. Most of San Marco was flooded under 4 to 5 feet of water, and even though the area has dried out, the effects of Irma are still being felt by shop owners trying to stay financially afloat.

"It was underwater. The water was up to the bar and all the way back. Everything from bottles to coolers were toppled over. It was disastrous," said Pam Lutzen, of Sherwood's bar in San Marco.

She and other small business owners were devastated by the hurricane, but didn't stop working to clean up so they could reopen.

"It was so devastating. I am so thankful for what we have now. I did not envision that. It was heartbreaking to think what do you do now, because I had never been through that," Lutzen said. "Now you rebuild and it’s pretty, but people don’t necessarily know you are back open because you were closed six months." 

She said Hurricane Irma is a storm she will never forget.

"When they say get prepared for hurricanes, it makes you a little nervous. Still, right now if it is high tide and it rains, the water will come in under the door and that’s just normal rain," said Lutzen.

She adds that she is fearful of another hurricane because it would be hard to rebuild it all over again. 

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