Family canoes to flooded home

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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) -- While Hurricane Irma left a Alachua County, Florida family devastated, it has not taken away their optimism.

The Pe?a family's only way home now is by canoe.

"My husband kept saying he expected to be helping others during this time," said Luisa Pe?a. "We never expected to need to help ourselves."

The entrance to their neighborhood at the Hills of Santa Fe is flooded out. Inside their home, the scene is even worse.

"We were prepared with supplies, but we were not prepared for the flooding. We thought if anything, we would have a tree fall and damage our property, but we certainly never expected this type of flooding," said flood victims Mauricio & Luisa Pe?a.

More than six feet of water rushed in early Monday morning. Floating furniture and electronics make up the bottom half of their son's bedroom.

"It took a tremendous toll on all of us, and because my parents worked so hard for this house and it, it's destroyed. Everything is underwater. It's extremely hard," said Gianni Pe?a.

The Pe?as say they saved as much as they could but still lost thousands of dollars worth of landscaping equipment, cars and furniture.

That equipment is especially important for the Pe?as. It's Mauricio's income.

"When you're making a living from that, you know it's pretty hard to, you know, to think that I'm gonna have to start all over again," said Mauricio. "Probably I'll have to buy everything."

The Pe?as' foster son, Albert, and Gianni's girlfriend, Brianna, say the family's positivity has gotten them through it all.

"Him helping madre keep like smiling, and us trying to keep madre smiling is like the biggest thing. Padre, like I'm just helping padre like one step at a time as much as I can," said Albert.

The family isn't alone. Two houses next-door are underwater as well. The Pe?as say flood zones at neighboring Meadowbrook Golf Course are partly to blame.

"Well first of all, I really would like the county, the city or whoever is responsible for this area to recognize, to get hands-on and take action because there's no reason that we, and my two neighbors lost everything. We lost half of everything. Somebody needs to be accountable for this flooding," said Luisa.

The Pe?as say even with the destruction in their neighborhood, no county officials or work crews have visited.

In the coming days and weeks, they will be working with their neighbors to clean up the area and get what they can out of the house.

The Pe?as have created a GoFundMe page: