Fort Lauderdale Residents Clean Up After Fierce Rains

Fierce rains left many homes flooded and valuables damaged

By Ari Odzer and Lisa Orkin Emmanuel
|  Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011  |  Updated 4:25 AM EDT
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Residents clean up after floods.

Residents clean up after floods.

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Fort Lauderdale residents were picking up the pieces on Tuesday after fierce rains left their homes flooded and valuables damaged.

Ashley Smith's home at  NW 14th Terrace and NW 5th Street was flooded with eight inches of  water in every room. She spent the day scooping up the water into buckets and mopping.

"This is a workout. I feel like I am doing Tae Bo,” she said.

On Monday, Smith was despondent, but since then, her attitude has changed dramatically.

"Got to take it one step at a time. Can't really cry about it, just got to do it," she said. "I'm not going to be moving back in here for like another week because I‘m bleaching, I‘m Pine Sol-ing, I’m Fabuloso-ing everything down."

A few blocks north of Smith's house there are some federal housing projects inhabited by people who have lost everything in the flooding. None of them have renter's insurance.

They said they are hoping that HUD will send cleaning crews. One woman said she didn’t have money to clean her children's clothes.

“All my kids' clothes are wet, the furntiture is ruined. We thank God we are alive there is nothing we can do about it," said Gerta Meillen.

Health officials warn residents to make sure they disinfect carefully because the water carries all sorts of bacteria.

Showers from Friday night brought many inches of rain including 12.15 inches in Fort Lauderdale Beach. Miami Beach got 11.70, Coconut Grove got 10.72 and Hollywood got 10 inches.

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