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Residents get first look at homes following evacuation

Along Tram Road and Highway 105, high water brought high stress.

Homeowners who evacuated from west Jefferson County are beginning to get a look at their properties since the storm.

Along Tram Road and Highway 105, high water brought high stress.

One family who lives on Alford Oaks feared the worst when they stopped by to check on their home Saturday. It appeared that they now own lake-front property.

A closer look revealed the high water stayed below the foundation.

“It didn’t go inside so I’m thankful for that,” Mallory Struble.

Her family bought the house after Harvey. 

It was gutted from the last storm and they’ve been working over the last two years to make it the perfect home.

She’s relieved that the inside is dry but hurts for her neighbors.

“All of them on [the other] side of the road all the way back got water,” said Struble. “I feel very bad for them. I’m sorry, it’s horrible.”

Josh Gracian slowly drove past Stuble’s house. He was careful to avoid causing wake. He didn’t want any ripples to find their way into his neighbor’s house. 

Gracian just found out his home took on water. He’s trying to stay positive despite the bad news.

“I’m alive,” smiled Gracian.

Down the road from their neighborhood, Bevil Oaks remains an island. A roadblock on Highway 105 keeps brave drivers from attempting to enter. 

Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies used a high-profile SWAT truck to patrol the neighborhood. 

They have checked on homeowners who stayed through the storm and surveyed how many houses took on water. 

“We’ve been sending pictures here and send them to the command post to let the know what areas were effected more than others,” said Captain Jerry Lowe. 

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He said some homeowners check in for updates at the gas station near the road block.

Sheriff Zena Stephens got a bird’s eye view of Bevil Oaks during a helicopter ride over the neighborhood. 

She said the water seems to be receding and once it is safe to return home, the roadblock on Highway 105 will be taken down. 

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick will first have to end the mandatory evacuation for the area.

“It’s a waiting game, just waiting for it to go down so we can allow people to go in and take care of their property,” said Stephens.

FEMA representatives and Entergy were escorted by deputies into Bevil Oaks to assess the damage.

A small, pin-hole gas leak that was reported turned out to pose no threat to the public.

There have been no reports of Entergy shutting off power to Bevil Oaks.

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