Miss. Gulf coast homeowners dry out following TS Claudette

Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -What was supposed to be a celebration of dad at the weekend home turned into one surrounded by water.

“We sit here, wait for the water to go down so we can clean up. And enjoy the neighbors and drink a glass of wine, you know,” said Peggy Kastner.

Peggy Kastner says they kept an eye on the weather and the water gauges at the Jordan River Shores subdivision but didn’t expect the fast-rising floodwaters in the early morning hours. She says the waters even started to creep into their antique car.

“Three o’clock in the morning we got the phone call that water was coming up and our slab was dry. It came up about 18 inches on the slab and 2-feet on our slab. It almost did it came right under the floorboards last night,” said Kastner.

Meteorologists named tropical storm Claudette overnight as it moved inland. A few hours later, it brought soaking rain that forced Hancock County’s emergency management to spring into action as floodwaters started rising in low-lying areas.

“Significant flooding all over, but it looks to be receding. We’ve had close to 18 to 20 highwater rescues,” said Brian Adam with Hancock County’s emergency management.

With the sun now out, Kastner’s neighbors Linda and Bob Creel made their way over through different transportation means in a paddleboat. “It was full of water it took us a while to get all the water out,” said Linda.

“Best $400 I ever spent,” said Bob Creel.

The floodwaters forced the creels to sleep in their truck parked on higher ground, but with both families’ properties and possessions still in good shape, they say it’s just a good opportunity to spend some neighborly time together.

“If you didn’t help each other out and be all on your own so we try and help out,” said Linda Creel.

“You have to laugh but otherwise you’re gonna cry,” said Kastner.

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