HERNANDO BEACH - Dozens of homes needed to be gutted in Hernando Beach because of the flooding that came with Hurricane Hermine, and most of the work was done by local residents, stepping up as volunteers to help their neighbors.
Erin Daly's day job is as a prosecutor for Hernando County, but her experience in disaster relief from September 11th to Hurricane Sandy jolted her into action in the wake of Hermine. Daly started "Operation Hernando Gut and Dump" in a parking lot, and by the end of the Labor Day weekend more than a hundred volunteers had helped clean out upwards of 70 flooded homes.
"There's a lot of people who don't have insurance, their houses are on the ground, especially out here in Hernando Beach, many houses got water in them and they don't know how to deal with the situation,” said Daly. "A lot of people think that they're waiting for their insurance company to tell them that they need to get rid of this carpet, and we're here to tell you: you need to get rid of it now."
“They’ve never been through something traumatic,” she added. “They need someone to go around, assess their needs, help them get their wet belongings to the curb, pull up the carpeting, bleach out the floors, remove the drywall and do everything they can to keep their house dry and aired out so it’s not a health hazard.”