Orange County family spends thousands on cleanup, Hurricane Irma debris remains

by: Karen Parks Updated:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County family that has been dealing with a costly dispute over the cleanup of debris from Hurricane Irma is warning other residents to make sure the job is done before money passes hands.

After the hurricane hit, a large hickory tree in Tracy Hilleran’s yard looked suspect and worried that another storm might send it toppling, she hired a contractor to remove it.

“They started on a Friday, which, I believe, was Sept. 29 and they finished the job on Sept. 30,” she said. “They cut the tree, they removed it, put it over in the park next to me here. They were going to bring their hauler later on that afternoon, Saturday, to come and haul all the debris out.”

Before the debris was removed, Hilleran paid Flynn’s Tree Pros $3,000.

“I felt comfortable using this company because I had done business with them before,” she said.

Photos: Massive debris pile in Sanford after hurricane

More than two weeks later and after a lot of phone calls, though, the debris remained.

It wasn’t until Channel 9 contacted the company’s owner, Scott Flynn, that Hilleran got anywhere.

Flynn told Channel 9 that an accident delayed the removal and that the situation was a misunderstanding.

He went to Hilleran’s home that same day, returned the $3,000 and signed a revised contract that said she didn’t have to pay anything until the debris was removed.

Flynn said he gave the money back “so she can sleep tonight, so she can sleep tomorrow night knowing we are going to pick up the debris. That her money wasn’t stolen, her money wasn’t taken unrightfully.”

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