"Ugly" truck proves to be a big help to river residents

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If you live along many of the rivers in South Mississippi, you have a pretty good idea of what will happen anytime a tropical system or hurricane comes your way.

The folks in Gulfport's Retreat Village subdivision realize that probably means flooding in their neighborhood, and that was certainly the case this past weekend, thanks to tropical storm Lee.

Barney Creel and his family have lived in Retreat Village for less than a year, but they knew what was coming.

"We kind of expected it," Creel said. "In fact, we thought it might be a lot higher than this."

But getting in and out of the neighborhood, could be a hassle and even dangerous.

"There have been several alligators that neighbors have spotted," according to River Road resident, Richard Rose.

But Rose said there was no cause to worry, because of his "deuce and a half."

A circa 1971, U.S. military vehicle that Rose bought at a government auction recently.

"Basically, we converted it into a river rescue unit," Rose said.

The past few days, residents have been calling Rose and another neighbor who has a similar vehicle, to transport them to and from their cars parked on higher ground.

As you might imagine, Rose, a former Gulfport city councilman, was the most popular guy in the neighborhood the last few days.

Fortunately, there were no emergencies in this neighborhood during tropical storm Lee, but River Road resident Barney Creel told us, with a smile on his face, that his 20 year old son Cory used the deuce and a half to get a ride to see his girlfriend during the storm.

Rose said that's just fine with him.

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