MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — Hurricane Sally affected more than just the coastline in Northwest Florida. Inland areas also experienced damage.
Along River Road in Milton, residents were seen Monday cleaning up mounds of sand that washed up when the Blackwater River surged into their yards.
Ray and Joann Duckworth have been through tropical weather at their home on River Road many times before. During Sally, it was different.
Emergency rescue crews made their way into “Paradise Island” along the river and started knocking on doors, ready to rescue anyone who needed rescuing.
The Duckworths were hesitant to go.
“We told them we weren’t going to leave,” Ray Duckworth said. “We told them we were going to ride it out, but we decided for the better we needed to get out.”
Crews rescued two residents at a time. The Duckworths had a place to stay for the remainder of the storm.
When they returned, they found mounds of sand underneath their elevated home. Neighbors and friends helped them clean it up Monday morning.
“You just have to clean it up and prepare for the next one,” Ray Duckworth said with a grin.
The Duckworths’ neighbor, Walter Vaughn, said he was surprised Hurricane Sally was as strong as it was.
“They have slipped up on us before, but this one really slipped up,” Vaughn said. “We didn’t expect this much volume.”
Vaughn said he was glad his plastic flamingos, sitting right near the water’s edge, were stronger.
“I said, ‘I hope those birds down there can swim,’” he said. “They swam, and they weathered the storm just fine.”
Nearby on Marshall Street, Sonya Finch was out cleaning up her RV rental property Monday morning. Sally destroyed the camp site’s dock and flung debris across the property.
Finch said she, too, was surprised at Sally’s wrath.
“We’re not the only ones who were surprised,” she said. “Everyone in the whole general area — Pensacola and everywhere — did not expect this.”