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Picking Up The Pieces In Florida After Irma's Devastation

After the storm finally clears, people returned home to inspect the wreckage.

Posted on September 12, 2017, at 12:03 p.m. ET

Near the southern tip of Florida, there's a trailer park on Plantation Island, just outside of Everglades City. Only several hundred people inhabit the coastal town, which abuts Everglades National Park. It was one of the hardest hit parts of the state.

Once the storm passed, residents of the small community started sifting through the wreckage, salvaging the personal items they could and trying to wrap their heads around what lay ahead. Photographer Nicole Craine spent the day documenting their experience.

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News

Residents clear debris in their mobile homes in Plantation Island, just south of Everglades City.

Nicole Craine for BuzzFeed News

Family photos are rescued from flood waters inside of Derrick Daffin's mobile home and spread out to dry.

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News

Silt and water covers the floors inside Derrick Daffin's home.

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News / Nicole Craine for BuzzFeed News

Kenny Crippen's mobile home, surrounded by debris from the storm.

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News

Kenny Crippen, 65, on the front porch of his neighbor's house. He escaped his home as flood waters were rising and the rooftop was ripped away.

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News

Residents clear debris from their mobile homes after they're able to safely survey the damage from the storm.

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News

Marlene Segein carries some of her belongings past the wreckage of her home. "[It's the] worst thing I've ever been through in my life," she said. "I thought for sure I was going to die. I'm still shaking."

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News

Jacob Pennell, 39, brings supplies to his uncle Harvey, greeting him with an embrace. Pennell said he'd previously only cried over the deaths of his father, grandmother and grandfather, but had been in tears on Monday over the destruction.

"It ain't as big as Houston," he said, "but it's just as bad."

Nicole Craine For Buzzfeed News

Flood waters and swamp mud cover the streets of Everglades City.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.