Residents in Citrus, Levy counties survey flooding

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Some Citrus County residents decided to make the best of Hurricane Michael.

As water spilled into the parking lot of Charlie’s Fish House restaurant in Crystal River, they played football barefoot in the water that was pushed on shore by the powerful storm.  While some residents chose to have some fun, others played it safe.

“This is crazy! The whole parking lot under water like this! I’ve never seen the water level this high!” said Tamika Sims, who evacuated from her coastal home on Monday.

“We were really concerned about the storm surge... that it would be up to 12 feet, and we would be flooded,” she added. 

Others who stayed said that, while some streets were flooded, Michael’s aftermath is nothing compared to Hurricane Hermine’s wrath. Nick Patel said knee-high flooding from the 2016 storm damaged $20,000 worth of products at his convenient store. By nightfall, water was already receding in flooded areas around town. 

In Levy County, waves from Hurricane Michael's storm surge pounded Cedar Key's popular water front -- the water surging over the breaker wall of the quaint coastal community, flooding Dock Street and making it impassable.  The Gulf water also flooded several restaurants there.

Some Waterfront condominiums suffered flooding as well, and a boat ramp was unusable. Taking all this in was Randy Montgomery, from California, who said he diverted from his walk around the perimeter of the United States to see the effects of Hurricane Michael on Cedar Key.

"Yesterday, I came out here.  I want to see, but I don't want to see any harm come to anyone, of course," he said.

Authorities said they intend to do a full assessment of the damage, beginning at daybreak.  They hope to have the community open by noon on Thursday.