The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

July 17, 2007

Trinity takes over subdivision

DEEP RIVER PLANTATION — Come “hell or high water,” Joe Parks said he’s going to stay.

And hell is all that’s left.

Parks and his wife, Simmeron, sleep on metal-frame beds stacked up on two cinder blocks. Even still, their blankets are tugged along by the current racing through their house, and at times, the water splashes into their backs through the bottom of their mattresses.

A rickety shack built around a Winnebago-style travel trailer, the hallways serve as channels for water from the Trinity River to drain off into a flood plain that serves as home to dozens of people.

Carpet continues out from the house into the acre-or-so yard, only stopping at the far edge of the Parks’ home, where tomato plants hang heavy with fruit that will fall into the current before it ripens.

Parks points to a room near the front of his house, where a television glows just inches above rushing water. A fan whirs overhead, with bare electric wire running down the wall, stopping just short of the electric recepticle near the high water mark here in his living room.

And it’s here, Parks said, that he will defy the river and try to continue on with “things as is usual, or at least as well you can with water in your house.”

“That rain all month long, they knew this was coming,” he said, staring out across what until a week-and-a-half ago was his neighborhood, a place where “everybody looks out for everybody” and “you know all your neighbors by they first name.”

With a sharp mind and a uncanny recall of dates, Parks remembers to the day when he first set foot on his piece of property off of Finch Lane, deep inside Deep River Plantation and no more than a few hundred yards from the Trinity River.

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