Family hosts open house after flood reconstruction

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The Robil Addition in Pocahontas looked like just six months ago. Residents were forced to evacuate and several homes were severely damaged.

It's taken time for people in community to recover and some are still working to recover. But this weekend, one resident is welcoming people to come see the progress on her home.

"We said this is how I spent my summer vacation, rebuilding the house," said Cyndi Barr, who lives in the Robil Addition. The floods destroyed the community six month ago. Residents are just now getting back to what they would call "normal."

To celebrate, Barr is opening her doors to show off the work that's been done on her home. "It's a victory that we are getting things back to normal. It's mostly a thank you to everybody. You know, if you helped us out we want you to see what we've done with it," said Barr.

They were able to move back a few months ago, and while the house is pretty much finished, there's still work to be done.

"I would have thought after 6 months everything would have been back to normal and it's still not. You still find more things. We still have things that we have to clean up. Things that were not a priority," said Barr.

While many people have moved back into the homes. Barr says there are several homes that remain empty. Either because they are too damaged to sale or people just aren't coming back.

"If you drive around the neighborhood, you'll find several empty houses. Maybe they were just people that were renting them," said Barr.

But, Barr is optimistic. "Once they get fixed up, it'll bring some people back. So you see a lot of work in progress," said Barr.

Those that have come back are sticking together. "We'll see each other some and stop by and talk to each other and find out what's going on. See what are they getting done. I think we are closer than we were before" said Barr.

Barr says the repairs have cost double what the house is worth. It's been her and her husband's home from 28 years. But there's always the fear the area could flood again.

"That's the one worry that's in the back of everyone's mind. I don't think I can go through this again. You just try not to think about it and move forward," said Barr.

The open house will take place tomorrow at her home on Douglas Street from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.