Helena residents returning to flooded homes

HELENA, MS (WLOX) - Many residents of the Helena community are returning to their homes this weekend, as the flood waters from Hurricane Isaac slowly recede.

More than 200 people were evacuated from that area as the fast rising water threatened their safety.

Now, they face the challenge of restoring their flooded homes.

There's high water everywhere in the Helena community.  Four wheelers are still the easiest means of getting through these waters.

For those who live here, frustrating doesn't begin to cover it.

"It sucks," said Annie Judge, who came home to four and a half feet of water inside her home.

Her belongings are ruined.

"Clothes. My laptop. A bunch of baby stuff. Pictures. All the furniture is ruined," she said.

Her neighborhood remains underwater. Streets flow like rivers.   "No Wake" signs would be more appropriate than speed limits.

"Devastating. Very bad. We got over five foot of water in the house. It's just now starting to come back out," said Charles Judge.

He and his neighbors will deal with these high water headaches together.

This is a close knit community.  And most everyone here will be making home repairs.

"We're going to have to tear all the sheet rock out, take all the furniture out. All the carpeting and cabinets. Redo everything," said Judge.

The Helena Trading Post is still surrounded by water.  But the water is slowly starting to recede.

And if you look at the front wall of the store, you can still clearly see the high water mark.

"It's a mess. Can't really say what I want on TV," said Lee Stewart.

"This neighborhood is normally peaceful and calm. Now it's a tragedy," he said.

Everyone here is ready for this water to go away.  It came up so quickly and can't drain away fast enough.

They will eventually dry out and get busy helping one another recover their lives and repair their water soaked homes.

Though the torrential rains from Isaac flooded neighborhoods and caused rivers to rise, neighbors in Helena point to something else.

They blame the opening of reservoir flood gates in Mobile for at least part of their flooding woes.

Various officials may disagree about whether that's a factor, but many residents are convinced it is.

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