Months-long study on Hurricane Ian flooding in New Smyrna Beach wraps up

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — New Smyrna Beach will lift its building moratorium at the end of June after a months-long study found new development didn’t contribute to flooding during Hurricane Ian.


Nearly nine months after Hurricane Ian dumped nearly two feet of water on New Smyrna Beach, several families are still just barely getting by.

Many are living in trailers parked on their front lawns while contractors work to rebuild their homes.

“This has been terrible, emotionally and everything else for me,” resident Vickie Stidham said.

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She said she believes the city is partially to blame, pointing to debris clogging drainpipes around the area.

“I think if they had regularly cleaned out the sewers around here and the drains, that would have helped,” Stidham said.

An engineering firm hired by the city shared during a meeting Tuesday that a months-long study that showed the drains were no match for a storm like Hurricane Ian.

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“For this size storm, (it) would have been great to have it, but would not have made a difference,” Mayor Fred Cleveland said. “But certainly for most storms, smaller storms, the ditches should work.”

The city will use the findings to make a plan for future hurricanes that will be presented some time next month.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.