‘The worst we've ever seen’ - Destin resident awakens to flooded home

Emily Tatley, left, and her roommate Natasha Otterness check out their neighborhood, Diamond Lake subdivision, for the first time Wednesday afternoon since the storm. They are some of the lucky ones whose house did not flood.

A phone call at 4:30 in the morning is never good news.

When Sheri McDonald was ripped from her sleep Wednesday morning by a blaring phone, she ran to the kitchen to answer. After seeing the 833 number, she was soon notified that school in Okaloosa County was canceled.

However, in her trek across the kitchen, Sheri felt something wet beneath her feet.

"I thought the dog had peed on the floor," she said.

But after she switched on the lights, it was more than their Chihuahua/Pomeranian dog Mako, could produce.

"The water was just pouring in," she said, telling The Log the water was flooding in under the door from her backyard.

"The kitchen was flooded … my whole house is," Sheri said, noting they have four inches of water in their home on Fifth Street in Destin.

"The hardwood floors are coming up," she said.

By 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sheri and her husband Capt. Bill McDonald of the Mindy Lou II had drained 65-gallons out of one of the bedrooms and 150-gallons out of the kitchen with a couple of shop-vacs, but there was still plenty of water in their home.

"We've never had flooding like this before, never ever. This is the worst we've ever seen," she said, noting they have been in their home since 2001.

"I wanted new floors, but this is not the way I wanted to get them," she said.

"We're actually very lucky because there are folks that have 2-feet of water in their homes. I know we're whining, but we are blessed."

Capt. Bill went down early to check on his boat at Heron Harbor.

"It (the boat) had come up almost to the top of the docks," Bill said, noting the water had risen almost even with the wooden boards.

"I had to re-tie everything," he said, but the boat was OK.

"It's been a scramble all day," Bill said.

"I can't believe I've spent 50 years on the Gulf and my house sinks," Bill chuckled and said.