Flood Victims Hope The New Year Will Help Put The Past Behind Them

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Live Oak, FL - It's been a tough year for flood victims after Tropical Storm Debby swept through much of North Florida. Now folks are hoping ringing in the New Year will help put the past behind them.

Just half a year ago much of Live Oak was flooded in chest deep water. Downtown looked like a lake. Residents were forced to take boats to find their way through flooded neighborhoods.

Now six months later the water is all gone but the scares remain.

"A lot of people lost their homes and memories that were in the houses, everything. It was just devastating," said local resident Tiffany Gaskins.

"I have family and friends whose property was flooded. My sister's house was flooded. Some friend's homes were flooded and their property was ruined," said local resident Emily Maynard.

319 homes were affected by the flood and 58 businesses. Now dozens are being condemned due to the severity of the damage. FEMA is helping those people to rebuild or relocate.

Sinkhole repair has been the biggest expense in the wake of the storm. The damage toll is in the millions. There is federal assistance but so far the City Of Live Oak has shelled out more than $700 thousand to recover.

Now many local residents are hoping 2013 will be better.

"Yeah I'm ready to just put it in the past. A New Year, a new beginning," said Emily Maynard.