Tybee Island residents cleaning up after Irma

TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - One week after Hurricane Irma, Tybee Island residents are cleaning up and drying out.

Most on hard-hit Lewis Avenue have more things piled in their front yards than inside of their homes. Residents don't know how long it'll take to get back to normal, but at least, one is staying in good spirits.

The inside of Jill Ebrecht's Tybee Island home is now outside. Years of memories now piled in the front yard.

"Very emotional because a great deal of my whole life is here, you know? Things from my whole life and my ancestors," said Jill Ebrecht, who lives on Tybee.

Even with their sentimental value, she says most of her water-damaged stuff isn't staying.

"For the most part, goodbye. I'm done. The next flood, it'll be more work if I keep it, you know? I'm gonna...minimalist. Yes, I'm going to become a minimalist," Ebrecht said.

Ebrecht was inside of her home as the water started rushing in through the front of the house. Now, those floodwaters leave her without floors and four feet of walls. She says the water came inside in just minutes and at its highest, it was about waist deep.

"And it stayed. Everybody expected it to come in and go out, and I'm like, 'no, this is different, I can't push the water out because it's still outside too.' My best moment was when the water was about here, and I was going to come through that door, and some fish wanted to swim in," she said.

She says no fish, but a couple of crabs and several volunteers have been inside to help pull up tiles and rip out walls.

"Everybody needs so much help, and if anybody wants to help anybody, come on, come on. It's very needed," Ebrecht said. "It'll take a while because you need somebody to come do it, and I don't know who's available. I've hired my neighbor and I'm sixth on his list."

She says her flood insurance adjuster isn't due for two weeks because there are so many needed in Texas and Florida. As for worrying about the storms swirling in the tropics, she says that's not a luxury she has right now.

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