WJHL’s Curtis McCloud in East Tampa as homeowners return to survey damage from Irma

TAMPA (WJHL) – Days after Hurricane Irma has come and gone, the storm’s remnants on Rose Street in East Tampa Irma left a glaring reminder of uncertainties for so many people.

Walking down Rose Street in Hillsborough County, Melissa Burnett grew more anxious hoping that her family’s home was still standing and not flooded by water spilling out of the nearby Alafia River.

“The last time I saw it was Sunday,” Burnett said. “Don’t know what it’s going to look like. I packed up all of my stuff as if it were a fire or something traumatic.”

Streets are still flooded in the Tampa area, as well as flooding in homes and cars.

Far as the eye can see there is nothing but water, but people in the community remain optimistic.

“If it goes under, I have no place to live,” Burnett said. “Three kids, a husband, so I’m really scared.”

And Burnett isn’t alone. Others flooded out of their neighborhood, forced to trade four wheels for a kayak and paddle.

But at the edge of the water, help and hope from Seeds of Hope, a nonprofit in East Tampa, with a mission to help people in need.

“People were already willing to help their neighbors and everything after the hurricane, and it just extended out a little further to our neighbors out here,” Leda Eaton, president of Seeds of Hope, said.

And that help is going a long way.

Eaton said for hours people have stopped by getting necessary essentials including food, water and clothing.

We were with Burnett when she discovered that her home was still intact, but some parts are flooded.

“Now, probably, I have to start all over,” Burnett told us.

But she’s okay with that because in the end she has her health, strength and family, including their dog, Lillie.

County leaders said they anticipate the water to recede completely by Sunday in Hillsborough County.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.




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