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Recovery continues in Bradford County

Lake Sampson residents know cleanup will be lengthy

This picture was taken on the porch of Judy Crews Lee's home in Lake Sampson near Starke.
This picture was taken on the porch of Judy Crews Lee's home in Lake Sampson near Starke. (Judy Crews Lee)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Federal Emergency Management Agency crews are encountering dangerous areas infested by snakes and other wildlife as they go door to door to assess the damage along Lake Sampson in Bradford County, workers say.

Meanwhile, it's been two weeks since Tropical Storm Debby passed through, and some things along Lake Sampson are still a mess.

In one person's back yard, the lake is just now starting to leave. The residents tried to be prepared though. Stacks of sandbags are still there.

"It's taken about 13 days to get better. The water was up to my -- it's been a traumatic time," said Hazel Johnson, whose home flooded. "I've had to stay away from home."

Johnson finally got back into her home Saturday, 11 days after it was over taken by water. Her furniture sits on the street corner. It's part of the trash now.

"It was very bad. There was a lot of people that, you know, are worse than me," Johnson said.

Some homeowners say this flood was different, higher than in years past.

"I would say probably six inches to a foot," said Doug Rogers, who lives on the lake.

Boat ramps along lakes Crosby and Sampson remain closed. Boaters could cause wakes that further damage homes.

Johnson continues to use fans to dry out. She knows it's going to be a long cleanup.

"It's kind of traumatic to see all your stuff ruined," she said. "It makes me very nervous. I've been very stressed and depressed."

The FEMA Center in Bradford County is open. It's located at the Bradford County Senior Center off of U.S. Highway 301 in Starke.

As of Tuesday, 176 people in Bradford County had registered for federal assistance.