Alice Barr

Homeowners in Everman and Forest Hill Recovering After Worst Flooding They’ve Ever Seen

As many as 150 families in Everman and Forest Hill are facing a daunting clean-up after their homes flooded over the weekend.

There are rows of trashed belongings along Christie Avenue in Everman. Floodwaters overwhelmed homes there within minutes late Friday night, overflowing from a nearby creek. The water dropped again almost as quickly as it rose, but the signs of damage will take much longer to erase.

Just three days after floodwaters crept into their home, the Garcia family is already giving back. They're part of a stream of volunteers dropping off supplies at a Red Cross joint response center for flood victims in Everman and nearby Forest Hill.

"It's devastating to the city, it's devastating to the residents and we've never seen anything like this here before," said chief Craig Spencer of the Everman Police Department. He's also the city's director of emergency services.

Late Friday night, six feet of water flowed over Christie Avenue, catching homeowners by surprise and driving some of them onto their roofs to wait for rescue.

"It was really, really scary," said Cecilia Cedillo.

She and her husband had to climb out a window and hop a fence to a neighbor's house. Then, while walking through the flood waters, Cedillo felt an electric shock in her feet. It was a terrifying moment at eight months pregnant.

"I'm just happy that my baby is fine," Cedillo said through tears.

Now with only a month left until the due date, the Cedillos are starting over with nothing.

"It was the crib, we have to take it out," Cedillo said, pointing to piles of damaged and discarded baby furniture. "It was a mattress, the changing table."

But in this community, no one faces the challenge alone. The Red Cross and other charitable groups are partnering with the cities of Everman and Forest Hill to put families on the slow climb to recovery.

"Oh it's great, I mean we need all the help we can get, everybody over there is struggling," said flood victim Ralph Ditto.

City leaders said they've had such a good response that they don't need any more donations right now. For anyone who still needs help, there will be a response center still set up at Everman's City Hall Annex on Tuesday. That's at 213 N. Race Street in Everman.

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