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Yonkers Sanitation Workers Spend Labor Day Clearing Debris From Homes Damaged By Ida

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Westchester County is included in the federal disaster declaration signed by President Joe Biden on Monday.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, on Labor Day, countless homeowners and workers were laboring, cleaning up debris and totaling up the damage from Ida.

It was not the holiday Yonkers sanitation workers planned -- heavy lifting and carting away tons of debris from homes flooded in a neighborhood south of Tibbets Brook Park.

"What would you normally be doing for Labor Day?" Aiello asked.

"Nothing, barbecuing, hanging out with the family," a sanitation worker said.

"I have thanked them and thanked them," one woman said.

The damage is extreme after water rose during Wednesday's storm. Bobby Sam tried to prepare with sandbags.

"This was the height of the sandbags, but the gush of the water, the strength of the water, it pushed everything in," Sam said.

He ran to shut down power and became trapped in swirling water.

"It came up to my chest and was pushing me around, like in a circle," he said.

WATCH: Port Chester Residents Cleaning Up Flood Damage 

Sam's tenant, Jaclyn Savino, lost pretty much everything in her basement apartment. Appliances were ruined. The baseboard heaters need to be ripped out and replaced.

"I really need FEMA assistance. I really need Red Cross assistance. Right now there isn't too much of that because nothing's been declared in Westchester," Savino said.

She got good news about an hour later: Westchester was included in the disaster declaration signed by President Biden.

"It's a major disaster declaration, which means that triggers federal assistance for both our municipal facilities, as well as for individual residential damage and small business assistance as well," said Susan Spear from the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services.

It's safe to say hundreds of Westchester families and business owners will be applying for aid.

Back in Yonkers, the Labor Day garbage pickup last hours, with Christmas, Easter and Halloween among the holiday decorations destroyed in the storm.

Click here for more information and to find out if you qualify for federal relief.

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