Cleanup begins after Alafia River recedes

- Mold now marks the spot inside Dale Sanderson's home to where the water rose.

"Now I have a mess and I am going to throw everything away," he said.

Like most of his Rose Street neighbors, most of his things are piled up, waiting for county workers to take them to the dump.

Three weeks ago Saturday, the Alafia River overcame its sides and then rose to several feet around, and in, their homes.

"A lot of people are trying to work and continue with life and at the same time rebuild what was their home and what they worked for so hard and lost it all," said resident Vernon Fitzhugh.

On Friday, teams of county workers moved over 400 cubic yards of debris from the sides of the roads.

Couches, chairs, mattresses, and belongings of almost every kind - whether of sentimental value or not - are no more.

"We faced this once before back in 2004," said Fitzhugh. "We have to keep moving forward. We can't give up, you know?"

The big issue now is insurance.

Several who spoke with FOX 13 said they were waiting for determinations on how much the companies will pay. Those numbers will have a big role in how difficult this recovery is.

But only to a point.

"Everyone around here is tight," said neighbor James Jennings. "They will help you. Everybody helps everyone out around here. Really good people."

Workers say it could still take several days to remove all the debris that Irma left behind. But getting it out of here is just the next step of many.

"God bless the people," said Fitzhugh. "If it hadn't been for the people, we would have been in a lot more trouble than what we are."

The county held a relief event on Friday so they could have a hot meal at the sports complex. Volunteers said about a hundred people showed up.

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