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Posted: September 27, 2009 12:01 a.m.

Flood Coverage: 'It just kept raining'

Couple from Riverside Estates Mobile Home Park displaced by floodwaters

By Brittany Thomas/

The Yellow River: Several homes at the Riverside Estates Mobile Home Park were badly damaged when the Yellow River spilled over its flood stage on Tuesday.

When Cecil Yarbrough walked outside his home at the Riverside Estates Mobile Home Park Saturday morning and noticed water from the Yellow River was standing at around five inches, he decided to move, thinking that the river couldn’t possibly get any higher. Now displaced and living with friends, he realizes just how wrong he was.

Cecil and his wife Sherry, along with their 12-month old puppy Blanket, moved their home from the B section at the mobile home park to the C section Saturday morning with the help of their neighbors. But when Cecil stepped outside to head to work early Monday morning he saw they had a problem. The water they had been moving from had caught up with them and was slowly making its way higher, flooding the B section of the park. When Cecil walked outside at around 6 a.m. the water was ankle deep and steadily rising.

The Yarbrough’s decided to move again and to get as much of their belongings out of their home as they could. In two hours time, the water was knee-deep on 6-foot-tall Cecil. Their camper remains at the park, outside belongings such as flowers and chairs have been placed on a wall in the park as have things such as winter clothing that was stored underneath their trailer in the hopes that they will still be there when the Yarbrough family can return.

"I hope it all stays there," said Sherry. "We just had to grab everything we could and run."

According to the Newton County Fire Department that could be longer than most people whose homes were affected by the flood, since the water at Riverside Estates has nowhere to go and must absorb into the ground – a process that could take another week.

And until the water is gone the electricity to the park must remain off. The family has no water, sewage or air conditioning available to them until the power can be safely turned back on.

The couple spent Monday night in a hotel, needing a dry bed and warm shower but could only afford one night. They were staying with friends who had also been displaced from Riverside Estates, but who had been able to take their trailer with them, at a mobile home park off Old Atlanta Highway until they were able to return home again.

"We spent what little money we had on the hotel but we can’t do that every night," explained Cecil. Both Cecil and Sherry have missed several days of work but were both quick to say that their employers had been very understanding about the situation.

"It’s just been so devastating," said Sherry. "We moved on Saturday, then we had a friend die on Sunday and then on Monday we had to move again. And we had to rush because the water just kept rising. It was easing up on us every minute," she said with a shake of her head.

"We never dreamed something like this would happen," said Cecil. "But it just kept raining."

The couple’s porch was washed away from the flood and a large outside table that the neighbor’s would gather at is gone as well. But for all the devastation, the couple hopes to return to Riverside Estates, though they are hoping for a spot a little higher and farther away from the river.

"It’s been a nightmare," said Sherry. "We are just looking forward to getting back some sense of normalcy."

If anyone would like to offer assistance to the Yarbrough’s the couple can be reached at (678) 570-7261.

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