After the Storm-Two Years Later

A small piece of foundation is all that's left of Carl Ballard's home in Lufkin. After living there for 15 years, the house was destroyed when part of a huge oak tree fell on it during Hurricane Rita. Now, two years after the devastation and destruction, the Ballards believe they are prepared for the next big storm.

Carl Ballard said, "We bought a modular built home which is supposed to withstand 160 mile hour winds." Hurricane preparation and prevention is expensive. The Ballards got a $140,000 loan to get their new storm-proof home. But after living in a FEMA trailer for more than year, it was well worth the investment.

"It's a stouter built house; heavier build. [A hurricane will] probably damage it but it won't be as bad as the other one was, because of the way the house is built."

The Angelina County community of Black Forest has come a long way since the storm. Residents there were without power for more than a week after Hurricane Rita. There are only about a hundred homes in the neighborhood, and after the storm hit, many of the families bathed in lake Sam Rayburn until their power was restored.