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Beaumont neighborhood reeling as Imelda damage cleanup begins

Southeast Texans are pulling together as neighborhoods flooded by Imelda deal with the emotional recovery process.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Curbside debris across the area now serves as a reminder of what families lost when more than 1,200 buildings within Beaumont took on water from Imelda. 

The neighborhood near Blanchette and South Fourth street took on between two-to-four feet of water less than a week ago. 

Soggy furniture, bags of clothes, a giant stuffed teddy bear and countless childhood memories now line the streets. 

Emilio Rodriguez had to put a majority of his family's belongings on the curb after their house took on almost two feed of water. He says it's been an emotional recovery for everyone, especially his wife. 

"She is crying sometimes, but we have to continue ahead," Rodriguez said. 

For now, Rodriguez and his wife and four children are all squeezing into one room at a relative's house while their landlord repairs their flooded home. 

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Their neighbors, just one block away, got four feet of water in their home. 

As everyone pitches in to help clean-up the massive mess, Saint James United Methodist Church on Blanchette is hoping to ease some of the stress.

"Our community in which the church stands is often in need of many supplies. But when we have a catastrophe as flooding it even causes them to have more needs," Church Pastor Dr. Janice Gilbert said. "So we felt that as a church in the community that at least we could offer the basic necessities to the families and to their children." 

Food, clothing, diapers and other supplies are being handed out at the church. But with so much need in the area, the church is running low on donations. 

Right now, the church mostly needs more toiletries, diapers and clothing for children. Donations can be dropped off at any time. 

Saint James UMC plans to hand out more items to families in need on Wednesday between 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

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