Riverview residents band together after Hurricane Irma causes flooding along Alafia River

Irma's rains pushed the Alafia River past its banks

RIVERVIEW, Fla (WFLA) — Susan Keller is one of many residents in the Hidden River RV Resort in Riverview who has lost everything.

“I have things down there that belonged to my parents who aren’t here anymore,” Keller said, as tears rolled down her cheek. “To my grandparents, my grandchildren.”

The park, located off of McMullen Loop in southeastern Hillsborough County, borders the Alafia River. Heavy rainfall during and after Hurricane Irma pushed the river past its banks and into the mobile home and RV Park.

Many of the homes closest to the river were under five to six feet of water for days.

Keller’s fiance, Louis Wall, also had a home that was under water.

“It’s that high inside,” Wall pointed to the side of his trailer, where debris marks where the water was. “This is the floor right here. This is the floor and that’s how high the water was inside.”

Wall has an outdoor work area where all of his tools were stored. They are now useless. He hasn’t been inside his trailer because he’s worried about entering it before FEMA gives the green light.

Keller and Wall have been staying with the manager at the park and helping others who have experienced a similar loss. Both have routinely cooked and fed fellow residents.

“We have other people here that need help too,” said Keller. “I mean, we’re a good family, all of us here.”

Both admit they are using the time to help others to keep their minds off of their circumstances.

“The time to fall apart is after it’s over. Not while it’s going on,” said Wall. “We need to support other people while it’s going on.”

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