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BERTHA STRIKES THE CARIBBEAN

Tropical Storm Bertha will not move into the Gulf of Mexico but tropical storm advisories are posted for areas of the Caribbean. This is the 2nd named storm of the Atlantic Basin hurricane season.

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TROPICAL STORM BERTHA

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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

National flood group helping Escambia Co. flood victims

A national volunteer group is looking at coming to Escambia County and helping families rebuild their lives after the flood.
    The group would help with reconstruction for a year.
    The county is now trying to get the resources needed for this group to come here.

    Driving around the Bristol Park neighborhood, you can still see piles of debris outside homes.
    Many people are trying to rebuild their lives.
    Like many in this community, Sue Wieczorek and her husband lost everything.

"We've been married 37 years, if we make it through this we can make it through another 37 years. We're trying to get it back together," said Wiezorek.
   
    They're slowly picking up the pieces by bringing in new furniture and reconstructing their home.
    The family has been living here for 25 years. They don't have flood insurance.
    FEMA helped, but can only give so much.  The damage is estimated to be about $80,000.

"I couldn't have done it without my neighbors. Actually, one of the neighbors down the cul de sac rescued us that night," said Wiezorek.

    Right now, BRACE is working to put the pieces of the puzzle together and get a national volunteer group to help with reconstruction in Escambia County.
    There's a need for it. The repair and rebuilding numbers may exceed 800 families.

"But matched with volunteer labor, we can make a huge difference in putting families in, what we call, a new normal situation," said Greg Strader, Executive Director of BRACE.

    BRACE needs to secure housing for these volunteers and be able to provide the funds and materials for them to reconstruct.
    For an entire year, there would be between 18 to 22 individuals rotating every three weeks that would stay here and work.
   
"We are incredibly blessed as a community that they would even consider coming to Northwest Florida. It's based in part on their experience after Hurricane Ivan, with the hospitality of this community, " said Strader.
   
    The goal is to get these volunteers in by September.