JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - Saturday marked the first weekend many of the businesses in Jackson County Park have been open since the fatal dock fire that killed eight people.
Though the temperature was moderately warm Saturday, it hasn't been that way for a while, and the charred dock ruins remain. People who live and work in the park said they hope cleanup resumes soon.
"It's nightmarish," said James Kelly, Jackson County resident.
That's how James Kelly describes waking up each day and seeing the aftermath of a fire that killed his girlfriend, Amanda Foster, and nearly took his life.
"I owned a houseboat on Dock B," Kelly added. "It was slip 36. Basically, it was right beside the three slips where the children and the mother and father lived on their boats."
He said he's seen crews working to restore order in the area even in inclement weather.
"Those guys have worked through the worst of it. Cold weather, rainy weather, they've been out there getting oil and the spill off the surface," said Kelly.
He said the clean up is personal.
"It's definitely a great part of putting closure on all this," said Kelly. "Getting it back to a point where it's not going to be a hazard for the marine life or the other citizens that still live here."
According to the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management tested the waters for contamination. The affected area has been contained.
People who live near the devastation said they hope to see clean up crews pick back up in the weeks ahead.