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Updated: 09/13/2017 08:30:01AM

Lake Placid rebuilds after Irma

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Katara Simmons/Coorespondent

It’s hard to tell where Lake Jackson ends and Veterans Beach begins Tuesday, one day after Hurricane Irma.


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LAKE PLACID — Business owners in downtown Lake Placid have started picking up the pieces of roofing that litter the streets. Homeowners are picking up shingles off of their front lawns along with the pieces of their interrupted lives.

Neighbors are helping each other cleanup from the aftermath. Many are going door to door checking on each other; many are helping to rake up leaves and cut up large branches.

A Lake Placid fixture, Cauffield’s Hardware store, at 192 E. Interlake Boulevard, will attempt to open today. Barbara and Vaughn Cauffman have had the store for 56 years. Even when they were not open for business but assessing damage, the couple continued to help customers.

“You’re a God send,” said Carol Walters of Lake Placid. She bought four 9-volt batteries for her smoke detectors.

On Main Avenue, Schooni’s Restaurant set up a large grill in front of the restaurant. Owner’s Michael and Candis Dean have owned Schooni’s for 11 years but the restaurant has been a Lake Placid landmark for more than 40 years. They grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and pulled pork with fried sides until the food ran out. First responders ate for free. Waitress Carrie Adkins said they had served over 100 meals so far at noon.

“We are doing the best we can to feed the community,” said Adkins. “We want everyone to get a hot meal.”

Schooni’s had major roof damage and will not open for at least a week. The Journal Plaza will soon be back to 100 percent, said co-owner Kevin LeBlanc said. They are putting the awnings back up and taking care of downed and leaning trees.

LeBlanc will be gutting his own building on Main Avenue because of roof damage and interior damage. He will be using an RV to run the Cottage Company out of until the renovations are done.

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