Festus residents evacuate homes for second time this year

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FESTUS, MO (KPLR) - Dozens of Jefferson County residents awoke Monday to orders to evacuate the Lakeside Manor mobile home park.

“The landlord was driving around honking horns, flashing lights,” said Michelle Theodoro, a mother of three.

It’s the same area where first responders rescued people in boats this past summer. In July, water breached a nearby levee.

During Monday morning’s evacuation, Theodoro said she also had to worry about her neighbors.

“They’re in their 80s and they don’t have a vehicle and they don’t have family right here, so me and my son went over, knocked on their door, made sure they got out. I took them to meet their family at White Castle so that they could be safe and sound because they were boated out of here last time.”

Water covered parts of the road winding through the mobile home park and it carved out new waterways. Residents also worried about a nearby sewage treatment lagoon that was flooded.

“Right now we’re at the point to where it could go either way. The water could come over or it could go down,” said resident Richard Potter. “It’s kind of got me on edge because if it comes over, where are we gonna go?”

Potter said he doesn’t have any other option but to stay. He bought his trailer from a family flooded out in July. He still has gaps between his drywall and the floor where he cut out moldy sections from the summer flood. He’s stacked his furniture on anything he can find. He has a piano on paint cans and a TV stand on paint cans and a drawer.

“This is home,” he said. “This is all we have.”