Volunteers come together to clean up flooded Manatee County neighborhood

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — A community came together in Manatee County this weekend to clean up a neighborhood flooded out after last week’s heavy rains.

Homeowner Steve Strickler said he’s overwhelmed by the support.  

“I’m going to rebuild,” he said. “That’s all I can do.”

Volunteers got together Saturday morning and gutted homes, salvaging anything they could.

For days, the Centre Lake subdivision in Bradenton looked more like a large lake than a neighborhood. Dozens had to be rescued as days of heavy rain flooded homes. The waters receded and cleanup began Tuesday.

And on Saturday, members of local churches, a school and a store came out in full force to pitch in and help.

“It’s a wonderful thing, it definitely shows community,” volunteer Cathy Bridwell said. “My husband and I drove through the neighborhood a few days ago out of curiosity and after seeing that I thought, wow, it would be nice to help those people.”

Homeowner Darla Kane says everything in her house was destroyed, so she’s thankful for the volunteers, as well as her family and friends. But she knows others have it much worse.

“I feel bad because I know what Houston is going through right now and ours is such a minor thing but it’s still affecting us,” Kane said.

Many residents blame the flooding on newer developments that were built three feet higher around Centre Lake, and other older neighborhoods that leave the rain to go nowhere but downhill. County officials tell us they’ll check to see if any building codes need to be changed.

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