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Nicholas-fueled rainfall triggers anxiety for May flood victims

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BATON ROUGE - It's a tale of two storms that have come and gone in the Morning Glen neighborhood.

Piles of trees, branches, and limbs cover curbs two weeks after Hurricane Ida made landfall.

However, other piles are made up of personal possessions thrown out of gutted homes after flooding back in May. Flooding that residents like Gerry Pocorello experienced.

"It just kept pouring in, pouring in," Pocorello recalls. "And we had about 16 inches of water in the house."

Gerry and her husband were just able to move back into their home of 42 years in late July.

"They were still working on the house two more weeks into August," Pocorello said. "The shower doors can't come in. [The] front door can't come in. [The] furniture can't come in. I've been pushed back to December for furniture to come in."

Throughout the subdivision, dozens of homeowners are still in the process of making repairs nearly four months after being flooded.

Some of those residents, like the Pocorello's, who had water invade their homes in May, did not flood back in 2016.

"We thought we were doing pretty good since we didn't flood in 2016," Pocorello said. "And then, buddy, it hit us. And I mean fast, real fast."

The area fared well during Hurricane Ida, beyond the widespread power outages and wind damage.

While the Pocorello's were able to breathe sighs of relief two weeks ago, the nerves have returned with Nicholas as they watch Ward Creek rise from their backyard.

"Here it goes again," Pocorello said. "It's coming again, and that's what's scary."

They are not the only ones feeling anxious. Pocorello's neighbor, two doors down, was able to move back into his home after May's flooding just ten days ago.

"When the water's already come up this much, almost to this cart path back here, I'm scared," Michael Hemphill said. "I don't know what to do. We've got new flooring. Do you start trying to pick up stuff?"

Hemphill and his wife did not flood five years ago, but he got a foot of water in his home for the first time in May. Now, he's planning to bring some of his household items to higher ground.

"We weren't supposed to flood in May," Hemphill said. "Nobody was supposed to flood in May. And here we are flooded."

For both couples, it's a waiting game. And though they've played it before, they say it's never been harder.

"Now, with the creek being so high, with just rain from today, we're afraid what's going to happen the next few days," Pocorello said.

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