Why didn’t someone from the city check on the elderly residents living in flooded area?


Noah seen on Dunlawton Ave

Dear Manager Harden,

My neighbor, Mrs. Nadine Francis, at 526 Powers Avenue makes a very good point in her letter to you yesterday, dated 9-30-14.

Why didn’t someone from the city check on her and her sister in their homes? Flood waters were high at our Powers Avenue/Ruth Street intersection. Certainly this was known to the city. Would have been a kindness to send a city employee door to door to check to be sure everyone was ok in this flooded neighborhood. We had many elderly residents living alone dealing with this flooding mess here. Some trapped in their homes by high water. I am sure they would have welcomed a friendly face from the city saying “are you guys ok and if not what can we do to help?”.

So please Mr. Harden, we need to have a plan to check on everyone who may be affected when neighborhoods are in crisis like this. I fortunately have a healthy husband who can handle flooding issues for this house and get us out of here if we need medical help, but not everyone is so lucky. Either a reverse 911 or a “wellness check” door to door plan or a contact by email asking “are you ok, do you need assistance?” With a plan to go to that person’s home if they do not respond to that email inquiry. Something. Surely with current technologies this could be done. Would be some pretty good PR for the city too. Something Port Orange could really use.

I also do not understand how there can be no responses from your office when homeowners are writing to you describing their flooding crisis and asking for help. Sometimes they have written repeated letters. One lady has a sinkhole forming in her neighborhood in Sweetwater Hills. No response to her letter from what I can see. Her 2nd letter. Seems like even our councilmen have to repeatedly ask for a response to their questions posed to your office. And yet there are selective responses to some writers. Certain folks do seem to get answers back to letters. Not sure how or why this happens. But it seems incredibly unfair and smacks of favoritism. Are some residents more deserving of a response and help than others?

Mrs. Francis and the rest of our Port Orange neighbors from all areas of the city writing to you at a minimum deserve the courtesy of a prompt email or phone reply from your office. Did you look at these pictures of Mrs. Francis’s back yard? This is high water and she backs up to the new retention pond that was built to mitigate the flooding problem in our neighborhood. Apparently it overflowed its banks and flooded her yard. This is incredible Mr. Manager. Mrs. Francis has indicated she will return after October 7, 2014 and can be reached at the number listed in her letter. I certainly hope that your office will follow up on her request. Her pictures can be seen at the link below.


I appreciate your attention to this letter and I will be waiting for a response as well. This is not my first letter either.


Dianne Templeton Gardner
618 Ruth Street
Port Orange, Florida 32127

20 Opinions on “Why didn’t someone from the city check on the elderly residents living in flooded area?

  1. Hey don’t be too hard on the interim manager about not coordinating a wellness check for the elderly. He was probably busy attending one of his luncheons, or going to ethics training, or conducting a team building session, or maybe composing one of his articulate & extensive goals reports, or perhaps attending an FCCMA leadership luncheon. You know, he was probably tending to one of those important big wig thingamabobs!

    • I Think David Harden has prepared an new goals update for the city council with an important announcement!

  2. Dianne,

    Let me ask a couple of questions.
    1. Are you her neighbor and know her personally?
    2. If so did you check on her after the storm was over to make sure she was ok?
    3. Did you assist her in any way?
    4. Did she or you call the non-emergency police number to alert them to the issue?
    5. If you did any of these then you are the type of neighbor you are supposed to be but if you did not and you could have then please don’t expect the City who does not know this woman at all to be her keeper.

    If you don’t know this woman then the people around her should have checked in on her. I had flooding at my home as well but I made sure that the single mom down the street was ok and that she and he children had the proper things before I started worrying about my home. That is what we are supposed to do as neighbors help each other out!

    • I agree, we shouldn’t really on the city to check in on folks at that level. Diane, this was a chance for you to show what a neighborhood should be about. Makes me look different at your expectations on other issues.

    • Well guys. Mike, Bob Ford, Scott Stiltner and Ted Noftall waded our neighborhood almost at day break and checked on everyone to the extent they could. My 92 year old mom had gotten out of the hospital the day before and I did not want to leave her. I emailed everyone whose email I had and asked if they were ok. Mama had had several terrible days struggling to breathe and was In a house surrounded by water. She is on O2 24/7 has 30 percent of her lung function. She is my mother. Was leaving her alone an appropriate choice after what she had been through?
      What would you have done?


      • Diane,
        Really not pointing at you personally to have had to do a door to door check in your area. It’s really a matter of we don’t need the government doing that type of thing. They already do stuff we don’t ask of them.

        • Guess to some extent this is a philosophical difference we may have…if we have a flood and we have vulnerable people who may not be able to fend for themselves..then who steps into that void? I want my tax dollar to be used to help people in emergencies. Floods, hurricanes, etc. I know wellness checks are done by police departments or maybe other departments in various communities…and not just in emergencies….when my mom lived in South Daytona, Chief Bill Hall, whom I adored for his caring manner, would often have officers stop by and door knock my mom just to be sure she was ok. Just a quick friendly visit. So comforting to her. So comforting to me. Built so much good will for the Police Department too.

          Bill Hall did that as a general practice for residents he knew were alone and elderly, not just my mom. A very decent compassionate man. Once when Mama had a house catch fire behind her house..and it was a terrible fire….the SD officers got her out of the house, into her air conditioned vehicle with her O2 on….away from the smoke and fire…..I was frantic when she called to tell me the house behind her was on fire..but she said..”.not to worry..Chief Hall sent a sweet young officer to save me” ..they had locked down the whole neighborhood, got the fire contained…..when I got to her house, there was a SD officer “guarding” my mom till I arrived…..I think our PD is one of the best around too…maybe Chief Monahan could come up with a plan to do something similar..only during emergencies….just in areas that are in trouble..like we were on Wednesday here on Ruth and Powers..

          OK Onlooker..those are my thoughts…


          • Understood, just like you said, a philosophical difference. I respect your position, I just think different. To clarify, it my prior comments were not a personal attack on you. If your Mom needed your attention, that’s where your focus should be.

        • Certainly don’t have it out for Diane, I respect her efforts and concerns. She seems to be very smart and well thought out when she presents her positions. i just think she expected to much from the city on this issue. We are capable of surviving without the government being involved with every aspect of our lives.

        • Thanks Samatha. She is a much better mother than I am a daughter. I am a most fortunate woman to have Mary Templeton for my mom. She is a great lady. Appreciate your comments.
          Best, Dianne

      • You are making this a political issue Mrs Gardner. Adding candidates names and their appearance at the flooding is no surprise. While in the past you make some valid points, I have to agree, you are playing this up a bit too much.

        Please don’t be a hater, hope you can accept the tough love and constructive criticism.

        This was not an issue to summon the National Guard, Red Cross, Governor Scott etc.

        • OMG CC…. I have disappointed you again. Actually I thought it was pretty nice of the boys…(see…..no names).. to show up ridiculously early, get really wet and stinky and walk (wade) the entire flooded neighborhood. I was very touched by their appearance. And reassured.

          Mrs. Gardner 🙂

  3. When you realize something didn’t go as anticipated and expected, it is best to eat the humble pie with a really big fork. Someone from the City should have been down in that area first things that morning walking the neighborhood and communicating with residents as to what they were doing and trying to find out what help, if any, the residents may have needed from the City. Sometimes getting your feet wet and showing that you care is all it takes to look like a hero! I would guess the presence of the 3 news crews that were set up at Dunlawton Avenue and Ruth Street probably caused anyone from the City that might have had to field a question or two, to make sure they found somewhere else to be that morning.

    • What about the supposed Public Information Officer – Kent Donohue ?

      What does he do to earn a salary ?

      • He probably does what he is told. He doesn’t appear to be a bad guy, but to survive in the city manager’s office in a disfunctional holistically disfunctional organization like this when they tell you to squwat and shit you squwat and shit.

        I wouldn’t get down on Kent Donahue he would do a good job as a PIO if our mayor and city managent were worth a shit.

  4. Dianne, Don Burnette needs to be added to your list of those who waded through the flooding in the Ruth St / Powers Avenue neighborhood. I don’t like to throw many kudos to that childish ass but he was there to view the flooding in person and for that he should be commended.

    • You are 100% correct Ted. Don Burnette did come to our front door to check on our family. I apologize for omitting him from the 3 people I mentioned who walked the neighborhood with Mike. Don, I think, arrived a little later. My mom answered the door and talked with Don. I missed him. I did write and thank him that day for stopping by and checking on us. Dennis and Drew were also active in writing on behalf of residents posing questions, etc. and I am sure they were walking neighborhoods as well. We appreciate all that our council and candidates did to help us and other citizens during the flooding.


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