Brazoria Co. residents allowed back home in mandatory evac areas

Residents living in the mandatory evacuation areas of Brazoria County will be allowed to return to their homes Tuesday afternoon.

BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas --Residents living in the mandatory evacuation areas of Brazoria County will be allowed to return to their homes Tuesday afternoon.

County officials say those returning will need proof of residency.

"Residents will be allowed to enter and exit these Mandatory Evacuation Areas from sunrise to sunset. These areas will ONLY be accessible with passenger vehicles, regular trucks and non-motorized watercraft. NO high profile vehicles and no motorized watercraft will be allowed."

The order goes into effect at noon but "may be revoked as deemed necessary for the protection of life and property."

The Brazos River only recently crested in Brazoria County.

Families ventured in Saturday to grab what they could as voluntary evacuation zones became mandatory.

We caught up with one Richwood homeowner Tuesday, as he checked on his house on Oyster Creek Dr. for the first time, since a mandatory evacuation forced him to leave over the weekend.  

It’s a lot to take in, but if you’re George Barnett, this is a chance to turn tough times into something better.

“It’s going to be a long slow recovery,” said 81-year-old, George Barnett.                

With a positive attitude, on Tuesday, he showed KHOU 11 the damage Harvey left behind on his Richwood home. 

“We’re fortunate, I don’t see any damage here,” said Barnett. 

Barnett is one of the lucky ones, flood waters didn’t actually get into his house, but it got close.  

“We’re the exception,” he said. 

But some of his neighbors’ homes didn’t fare so well, neither did his street. 

Barnett was forced to evacuate over the weekend, after the Brazos River and Bastrop Bayou began rising, overflowing into his neighborhood. 

“No one alive has ever seen anything like this,” he said. 

But the former college professor says he and his wife got out just in time, taking it all in stride. 

“I’m 81 years old, you don’t worry,” said Barnett. 

His heart still breaking for his neighbors, left in more dire situations.  

“It’s really disturbing to see how far the others are in recovery,” said Barnett. 

But it’s the outpour of support, neighbors helping neighbors, communities coming together that’s moved him during these tough times, giving him hope better times are ahead. 

“People smile in desperate situations, their attitudes immaculate, it’s heartwarming,” he said. 

Brazoria County officials don’t expect water levels to go down dramatically around the Brazos river, creeks, and nearby bayou until at least the end of this week.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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