IRMA: Brevard officials estimate $157M in property damage due to Irma

By Caitlin Wilson, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, October 07, 2017, 3:14 PM EDT

Nearly a month since Hurricane Irma hit Central Florida, longtime residents still are shocked by the size and force of the monster hurricane.

  • Damage amount tops $35 million caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016
  • High dollar amount due in part to tornados in Palm Bay area
  • Dollar amounts could still rise if area sees significant rainfall

“It was the worst storm we’ve ever had, and we were here during the storms in ’04," said Susan Zimmerman, who has lived in Cocoa for 30 years. "But this was the worst one -- this is the first time we’ve ever had damage.”  

“There was just no place to go in Florida -- this hurricane hit everybody,” Cocoa resident Lorien Neargarter said.

Hurricane Irma left widespread damage in Brevard County. New figures in from the county say Irma has caused an estimated $157 million in property damage, a staggering jump from the $35 million Hurricane Matthew caused last year.

“That’s anywhere from minor damage to homes outright being destroyed," said county spokesperson Don Walker, "So from a property stand point Irma was a much bigger storm system than Matthew."

The county said much of the high dollar amount comes from the southern part of the county, where a confirmed seven tornados touched down in the Palm Bay area. Other areas, meanwhile, sustained flooding and water damage.

Even with the widespread damage and potentially high cost of recovery, residents say Florida will remain home even after this massive storm.

“I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else," Zimmerman said. "I’ve lived in New York, I’ve lived in California and Boston, but Brevard County, to me, is the best place to live."

The county said it is possible the estimated dollar amounts for damage could rise if the area sustains more significant rainfall and flooding.