Cleanup continues in St. Petersburg homes flooded during Tropical Storm Eta

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Three days after the floodwater receded, the cleanup from Tropical Storm Eta continues in the Shore Acres neighborhood.

“I saw a home down there, all this stuff out there it said, this is not a garage sale,” Manny Rubin said, “just to let people know that stuff isn’t being dragged out to sell, but just damaged.”

Rubin and his girlfriend moved into their new home together six weeks ago. Now, there’s a water line more than a foot high on the outside.

“When they were talking about it being a tropical storm relative to a hurricane, I think everybody in this neighborhood kind of felt a bit of a sigh of relief,” Rubin said.

After the street flooded by the afternoon on Wednesday, Rubin said they watched the water rise quickly into the night, especially after high tide, leaving behind “a river of brown water throughout our first floor.”

“For the last two days, just trying to use dry vacs, sump pumps to get all the moisture out of there,” Rubin said. “Been bleaching the walls, been on our hands and knees with our scrub brushes and sponges.”

Late Saturday afternoon, Agustin Guerrero from DRIRITE of Tampa arrived with a heavy-duty dehumidifier that Rubin is hoping will help prevent mold.

Guerrero said business is booming since the bay area felt the impact of Tropical Storm Eta.

“We’re out here to help,” he said. “Yes money’s out there, but we’re doing it to help out people, too.”

For Rubin and his girlfriend, it is hard to put a price tag on everything damaged in the flooding. He said some items have sentimental value.

“She had a lot of memories in there, too,” he said. “A lot of boxes of photos that we had stacked on other furniture thinking the water level would not reach that high ended up knocking it over. So, we’re just trying to dry it out hopefully those things can kind of survive all this.”

Unfortunately for the couple, both of their cars parked in the driveway are total losses because of saltwater damage.

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