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Manatee couple decorates Hurricane Ian debris with Christmas lights

WWSB Tampa 11/29/2022 ABC7 Staff
A Sarasota couple has decorated debris from Hurricane Ian for the holidays. © Provided by WWSB Tampa A Sarasota couple has decorated debris from Hurricane Ian for the holidays.

UPDATED Nov. 30 to correct the location of home is in Manatee County.

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Crews across Manatee County are working tirelessly to clear the remaining debris from Hurricane Ian.

Even so, there are still some piles of debris waiting to be removed.

Kathy and David Thomas, who live on 72nd Drive East, have such a pile of debris. Kathy told ABC7 that she and David were sitting on the front porch when David joked about decorating the pile of debris.

Kathy loved the idea, “I said ‘Do it! Do it! Put the American flag on there and make it official!”

So, every evening, the couple puts a flag, Christmas wreath and lights onto the pile.

The festive debris pile has been a favorite among the neighbors, who drive by and take photos of it at night when it’s lit up.

David added that he knows crews are working hard and hauling out debris every day. “We see the trucks full every day. It’s no indictment on them. It’s just a way to share a grin,” he told ABC7.

The family says that they remove the decorations every day, just in case crews come to clear it away. In the meantime, it’s a way for the community to have a laugh as they work together to survive Ian.

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