Some flood victims finding less protection, help against water

The water levels from flooding in our area are dropping, allowing people in Alexander County, Illinois, to come back to their homes.

People in small communities like Unity and Hodges Park near Olive Branch say help in protecting their homes were scarce.

For many around Hodges Park, Wednesday is the first day they’ve been able to get to their homes since the flood came and they were forced to evacuate.

Brandee Rister says this is the first chance she’s gotten to reach her home in Hodges Park without crossing the flood waters.

"It’s pretty much completely gone. Even from this morning, I can pull in now," said Rister,

Rister says small communities like Hodges Park and Unity haven’t gotten as much help as the bigger communities, something a number of her neighbors agree with.

"Nothing. No help at all. We were given no sand. Really, it came so fast that we didn’t really even know about the resources, or I didn’t," Rister said.

Farther down along Highway 127, neighbors Shirley Grundy and Debra Houston are back home Wednesday for the first time since evacuating. They say they had more help preparing their homes.

"And I know the Egyptian basketball team was coming up and down the road helping people sandbag," said Houston.

"We blocked off this sewer in front of our house. We would have had much more but we did sandbag that," said Grundy.

They say the communication from the county is better now than it has been through previous floods.

"And I think the county was much better this time than 2011 because they came on and brought sand. 2011 wasn’t so good for this community," Grundy said.

Those living in Hodges Park say the sense of community is stronger now than ever from surviving the flood.

Many people around Hodges Park and Unity say they don’t blame the county or bigger communities for taking up more time and effort from volunteers or first responders. They say they just want to make sure their lives or homes aren’t lost or forgotten about from the flood waters.

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