Battered Eagle Point Neighbors Vow To Rebuild - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/27/05

Battered Eagle Point Neighbors Vow To Rebuild

It is among the coast's most beautiful neighborhoods. And the most vulnerable. The water front views that make Eagle Point so attractive, also put those homes in harm's way.

Despite the demolition, many storm-weary residents say they will rebuild.

A month after the nightmare storm Eagle Point is beginning to awaken from the destruction and despair. Katrina spread much misery.

"I just couldn't believe it. I started crying the minute I hit the neighborhood," said Glenda Carter.

She never imagined any storm could so destroy a community.

"It was the worst experience of my life. When I walked up, I couldn't believe that I'd only been here a year and everything was brand new and it was all washed away. It was just horrible," she exclaimed.

She's found a few belongings, including a daughter's jacket, worn in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

"She found that way back in someone else's yard with just an arm sticking up," Carter said.

Despite the destruction around her, Glenda Carter is staying put.

"And I will be back. Most definitely. It will take awhile. But I will be back," she vowed.

Amid all the destruction at Eagle Point, there are also startling stories of survival. Like the story of Bob Helwig, who rode out the storm in his water front, wood frame house.

"When the water started coming in, it just never seemed to stop. And we went from the ground floor up to the second floor and up to the third story bedroom and stayed there and rode it out," said Helwig.

From that third floor hideaway, Helwig heard, felt and watched the destruction inside his home.

"This used to be our master bedroom. This is a hallway. A foyer. It swirled around so much, that just everything was ripped from the walls," said Helwig, while giving a tour of his storm battered house.

He'd beaten a hole through the roof with his wife's bowling ball, planning an escape if the water kept rising. Mercifully, it stopped.

Bob Helwig now lives on his boat, which somehow made it through the storm. He'll rebuild, but this much is certain.

"An experience we'll never have to live through again. 'Cause next time one comes, we're leaving," he promises.

Bob Helwig wasn't the only one on his street to ride out the hurricane. Two neighbors also stayed at home. They kept track of one another by yelling from house to house during the worst of the weather.

By Steve Phillips

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