British Columbia flood survivors forced to clean up after massive cleanup

( @fxnbc ) – More than four months after raging flood waters inundated northeastern British Columbia, residents who were desperate to move on are instead stuck in the very city where they left everything behind in the beginning.

In January and February, record flood waters from the overflowing Peace River brought relief to some and destruction to others. But in the distance, the calm was reminiscent of summer.

“We lost everything in that house,” says Doreen Hiltz, a resident of Princeton, B.C. “The next thing I heard is the sirens wailing and I’m running to the boat and I’m waving at the fire department. I had to run through the water and go through the gate.”

Her home is filled with wet mud that sticks to everything inside. She says moving on now is incredibly difficult.

Others find a new place to call home in the hills outside Princeton, B.C. Residents spoke with Fox News about their relief at finally getting back into their homes, but they also had to do a lot of ripping and rearranging.

“It was almost like a war zone when we got back and we were cleaning out,” says Kelly Brook. “Our sewage line, the meter, the sink, our bathrooms, the floor, everything was tearing.”

Kelly’s home is next to a federal forest and the culprit of the damage was a tree that fell. “Any foot of water that comes through here basically floods the house and leaves a trail. It had to be eight inches by eight inches to crawl on us,” she says.

The real challenge, now, for many is “eliminating the residue,” Brook says. “Trash, it was just a mountain full of it. People had bales of hay on the street, old lawns. Just a mountain of debris.”

Ashamed of their muddy homes, members of the city’s community worked to clean them up, including Roger Nanlis, who is president of Citizens United for Preservation of Heritage. He says, he’ll remove any trash that appears on the streets as soon as possible.

“You want to put it away. After the storm that just passed, and everything that’s happened, the water’s finally receded from there,” Nanlis says. “This just a microcosm of the flood that occurred throughout our region, across all the rivers as they were overflowing all over our great province.”

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