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Swamped by Irma, tiny Florida town pushes toward recovery

In this Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 photo, Lyle Asbill, center, pulpit minister at the Naples Church of Christ, moves new furniture donated by the nation's Churches of Christ, after it was unloaded to be distributed at Outdoor Resorts of Chokoloskee, in Chokoloskee, Fla. Right after Hurricane Irma, Mormons from elsewhere in Florida helped people clean out their homes. Baptists ran the food bank. Other groups, religious and secular, chipped in. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
November 10, 2017 - 10:34 AM

EVERGLADES CITY, Fla. - Two months after Hurricane Irma's storm surge swamped Everglades City, the tiny Florida town is pushing toward recovery.

The community church is preparing for its first indoor service since the storm this Sunday, and the mayor says more than 90 per cent of local businesses should be open as tourist season picks up in the next two weeks.

But some residents still complain about the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which they say has been stingy with its help since the Sept. 10 storm pushed a 9-foot wall of seawater into the 400-resident town tucked into the state's southwest, hard on the Gulf of Mexico.

FEMA officials say they were hindered because of other disasters, including massive floods in Houston and wildfires out West, "but we were here."

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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