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Up a creek with a paddle

By Staff
KNEE HIGH n Terry Boswell maneuvers a small boat around his brother-in-law's flooded yard.Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Sheila Blackmon and Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
April 6, 2001
Enda Faircloth's rubber-booted family watched helplessly Thursday morning as rising waters entered their homes along Highway 19 North.
Wednesday's downpours had flooded nearby Okatibbee Creek, sweeping everything from limbs and debris to rats and roaches into their yards. The current from the creek didn't discriminate among the family's neighbors, who were also battling rising flood waters on Thursday morning.
While Faircloth watched the water enter her rental home at 4328A Highway 19 North, her two sons, Terry and Edward Boswell, surveyed their homes from a boat.
Luckily, Edward Boswell's home stands well above the flood line. His headache lies in a flooded driveway and yard. His brother wasn't so fortunate. By lunch time the waters were inching their way into his home.
Back at Faircloth's rental home, the Boswell brothers removed its tenant's furniture just before the water swept through.
Family members say the flooding isn't unusual, especially since the state widened the road in 1986 and replaced the 4 foot culverts with 2 foot ones.
The family agrees a cluttered Okatibbee Creek is largely responsible for the flooding.
Just north of the family land, which Faircloth has owned for more than 41 years, trash and debris lay across the creek, forcing its waters to rise over the creek's banks in some areas.
The next battle for the family will be the rats and snakes that will seek shelter in the family homes.
It's something his mother isn't looking forward to.
Faircloth said she fears the flood will worsen once the Corp of Engineers opens the spillway at Okatibbee Reservoir today.
Sheila Blackmon and Marianne Todd are staff writers for The Meridian Star. E-mail them at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com or mtodd@themeridianstar.com.