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Environment

Debby Forces Evacuations in Clearwater Trailer Park

Even as the rains from Tropical Storm Debby fell at her Clearwater mobile home Sunday afternoon, Pamela Andrews thought she'd have time to get things together if she, her boyfriend and her son had to leave.

They didn't get the chance, as the nearby Cross Creek Bayou overran its banks, forcing them and other residents of the Mariner's Cove Mobile Home Park to grab whatever they could and flee the area. 

"I was able to get some clothes but they got soaking wet on the way out, so it doesn't do me a whole lot of good," she said Monday afternoon as she sat in her minivan at the edge of a flooded street near her home. Her family returned home to briefly survey the damage and retrieve their pet cat, which they had left behind in the initial confusion.

The combination of the torrential rain, the overrun from the Bayou and high tide brought waters as high as three feet into the park (5700 block of Ulmerton Road). While most homes are raised up off the ground, the waters were still high enough to do damage to the interiors of some.

"It's probably about waist deep when we were leaving Sunday," Andrews said. 

"There's fish swimming around there, there's turtles, there's shoes floating around. My fence actually fell down, it's floating around in the water somewhere."

Some residents fled to nearby hotels, others went to a Red Cross shelter. No word on when they'll be allowed to return home.