Holding Down The Fort

Friday, May 20, 2011 - 3:54pm

Small band of Eagle Lake, Mississippi residents refuse to fell flood waters.

While the flood waters rose in Mississippi's Warren County most residents of Eagle Lake moved out, but about a dozen stayed behind.

They have stocked up on food and rarely leave the lake because a trip to Vicksburg takes up to three hours due to all the road closures.

Thursday was the first day they have received mail in two weeks.

Nearly every night for the last couple of weeks residents of Eagle Lake get together for dinner at the only bar within miles.

The power was cut off Thursday as crews worked to repair the levee.

Instead of doing dinner inside they cooked outside.

"Everybody brings a dish, so its pretty cool," said Tim Stennett.

They are a small group, about a dozen people.

They are the only residents left of the roughly 600 residents that live on the lake.

"We talked about it and thought about it, but this really wasn't a decision at all," said Cindy Roberson. "This is home, this is where our stuff is."

Roberson attended the standing room only meeting on April 29th where the Corps of Engineers laid out their plan to raise the level of the lake.

"Within three days everybody left," said Roberson.

Their homes are dry, but one of the worst parts about staying behind at Eagle Lake was watching the water rise.

The lake was risen 12 feet, covering decks and submerging boat houses.

"We don't know if they're still there. We don't know if they've floated off. We don't know what condition they're in. You're talking thousands and thousands of dollars gone," said Roberson.

Not only are they facing property damage, but they're also without work.

Roberson sells real estate exclusively at Eagle Lake and business is at a standstill.

Tim Stennett builds homes on the lake.

He's losing money every day.

"There's been about $20,000 on the books for the next two to three weeks, but I'm sure if they come back we'll do it," said Stennett.

It's that same optimism that has kept them at Eagle Lake, sharing meals together and staying dry.

"I think friendships have been bonded since this has happened that wouldn't normally happen," said Roberson.

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