Kingsland couple rescued from flood water on inflatable rafts

After Irma: Rebuilding Kingsland

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Cleanup is just getting started in one Kingsland, Georgia neighborhood. Many residents are gutting their entire houses, even a week after Irma. 

"Until you live with it, you don't know...You don't know," said Claire Walsh.  
 
She and her husband Jim have lived in their Kingsland house for the past 8 years. It's a beautiful home with a front porch and an American flag waving in the wind. Now, all the contents of that house, the things they could save, are condensed into boxes sitting in the garage.
 
"They keep saying, 'It's only stuff.' But, it's my stuff. It's memories," said Claire.
 
She woke up at 4 a.m. Monday of the hurricane to go to the bathroom That's when she felt inches of water on the floor and immediately called her daughter Liz. They knew they had to get out. Neighbors came in to rescue Claire and Jim. 
 
"I just looked up at the sky and saying 'God, why? What happened?' I know it's not his fault. But, just asking him to be with me and give me the strength," said Claire.
 
Her daughter tried to get them out as quickly as she could. 
 
"I'm like, let's go, let's go. We gotta go. We'll do it later. I wanted to get to this point where we're at now, as soon as possible," said Liz.
 
After the water receded the next day, Liz called in crews of family and church members to help get things out of her parents' house. They've signed up for FEMA aid but they wanted to get a head start cutting the plywood and taking out the flooring. They made sure to get rid of anything that was soaked by the flood waters. 
 
"I don't want all this blood sweat and tears to be not for nothing. I don't want them in another month after it's all back together to start getting sick because there's mold," said Liz. 
 
They say there are only a few houses in the neighborhood that don't have any damage and they're still unsure how their neighborhood flooded so much. 
 
"I just want to get back to normal life. Get in my house, that's all I want. Fix it up so I can come back home to live," said Claire.
 
What they do know is that even though their life has been put on hold for a moment... it will go on. 
 
"Each day it's like, you're sad, and then you've got to keep talking to yourself and say it's going to be okay... it's going to be okay," said Claire.  

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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