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Flood victims evacuate with help of friends, agencies
Widows house IMG 8459
About 28 homes in the Lake Capri neighborhood and 12 in the River Chase neighborhood were evacuated Monday afternoon due to flooding, according to county spokesperson Holly Lafontaine.

Many anxiously watched as water levels crept higher and higher, lapping up onto front porches and driveways.

Lake Capri neighborhood resident Shirley Hartness walked along the edge of the flooding that had cut off the road and driveway from her home on Lake Sorrento Drive but had not gotten into her house yet. She said there had been minor incidents before but she hadn't seen flooding like this since 1971. She and her husband had evacuated to her sister-in-law's house in a higher part of the neighborhood earlier this afternoon.

Allison Hathaway and her family, who had lived in the home for a decade, had rented a small moving truck and were in the process of taking out what furniture they could.

"We have experienced flooding before, but not to this extent. It's been maybe 2 feet at the most. But this," she said, waiving her hand and the brown water that had swallowed part of her driveway and was about to spill into her garage. "And then they're anticipating additional water."

Resident Grady Potts had evacuated earlier, stashing his backhoe and truck at a neighbor's house, but came back with wading gear to get important documents and insurance papers. "I've got insurance but not flood insurance," he said, shaking his head. He added that he lived well away from the river's edge, about 550 feet. "And there's a lot of other people here that don't have it either."

Susan McNeely, of the Lake Capri Home Owner's Association, said Rockdale Emergency Relief is aiding and providing shelter for about 15 to 20 families. McNeely described RER director Ashley Roesler as "johnny-on-the-spot."

"That's what RER is for and that's what she did."

She also had high praise for emergency personnel that aided the families all afternoon. "The fire department and sheriff's department animal control have been out here and they just did an amazing job."

The last time McNeely remembered flooding was in 1996, during the hundred-year flood.

County spokesperson Holly Lafontaine also agreed this was the first time in many years the county had experience flooding of this magnitude but said so far most of the families affected had been able to self-evacuate.

"The Yellow River is the biggest concern and then individual private lakes," she said.

Residents affected by flooding needing help can call the emergency center at 770-278-8119.