TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Today marks the first say some residents in Tyler County went back to their homes following storms that caused many of them to evacuate last week.
"It was like this deep here and across that ditch would have been over your head. Everything here was underwater," said Edward West.
Water showed no mercy Thursday to the place Edward West calls home.
"You can see how soft this is. It just washed it out like it was nothing," West said.
West lives in Barlow Lake Estates, an area which sits just a stone's throw from an overflowing Neches River.
"Fear. That river was running about 40 miles an hour, 45. It was getting it. And coming through here, if you would have stepped right out there, you would have gotten washed away," West said.
The storms which swept through much of the area last week prompted officials in Tyler County to issue a voluntary evacuation. It's a warning West says he didn't get in time.
"The water was over the road so much we couldn't get the vehicles out so that causes some stress. Then when you wake up and realize there's water underneath the house and you look and there's bricks lying down and it's coming up more and more and more," West said.
The secluded community is usually accessible by car, but with water still covering much of the roadway Monday, residents were forced to park and make the journey on foot.
"Everything I own is down there and we don't have a place to go. My kids had to stay with family members," said Glenda Key.
And to make matters worse, Key moved in just two weeks ago. The area is no stranger to flooding, which prompts the question, why stay?
"It's our home. 'Why are you getting emotional?' It's our house," West said.