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July 4th celebration continues in Sopchoppy

Fireworks
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-05 14:25:29-04

SOPCHOPPY, Fla. (WTXL)--This time a year ago it was Tropical Storm Debby.

Now it's more rain causing headaches.

A lot had been planned for Sopchoppy's independence weekend but mother nature is doing more than raining on a parade.

This time last year many Wakulla County residents were dealing with Tropical Storm Debby. Homes were underwater and many roads washed out.

"We lost everything in our home due to the mold," said resident Chris Hodges. "Once the water went down, our house got wet, beds, clothes, everything."

After Chris Hodges' home flooded last year in Panacea, he moved to Sopchoppy with his family. He was depending on the town's Fourth of July celebration to boost his business but he says he doesn't think as many people are showing up this year because of the weather.

"We expected a lot of people but instead of thousands, there were hundreds," said Hodges. "It just didn't happen."

Some of Friday's events including boat rides were canceled because of safety concerns after storms dumped inches on rain on the area. The fireworks went on as scheduled Thursday night in Sopchoppy.

"It means a lot for us to have Fourth of July because it is in commemoration of Bill Stevens," said Rick Ott, the Fourth of July entertainment chair. "It just didn't seem right to cancel, so we kept it on and thankfully we go a clearing for fireworks."

Bill Stevens was one of the original founders of the Sopchoppy July Fourth event 35 years ago. Click here for a full schedule of events that are still happening Friday night and Saturday.