grew up in Point of Rocks, MD with his mother Lettie.
Both live there now. Lettie has a house by the Potomac
River. Every time the river floods, her house is nearly
submerged. "When the water comes in the front door, I go
out the back door," she said.
Lettie is 93 and has lived in Point of Rocks all her
life. She is now blind and her son Vernon helps her move
all of her furnishings out each time before a flood
hits. Lettie's house has been flooded 10-15 times to
While buying out homes of other residents along that
precarious stretch of the river, the county has agreed
to let her remain in her home undisturbed until she dies.
Her son Vernon, who lives farther back from the river's
edge, isn't moving either. The water in his house was at
51 inches in January 1996 and 54 inches in September of
the same year. "I've known it was going to get me at
least once in my lifetime, but I'm so used to it from my
mother's over there, I said I'm not going to let that
stop me from staying," said Vernon.
Whenever there is a flood, Vernon changes his house
around with the help of some close friends. He says that
he never worries about the next flood because he knows
what changes he wants to make to his home.
The Shores are among more than 20 residents in Point of
Rocks, MD that have been flooded out of their homes on
several occasions. The county is buying their houses so
that it won't have to pay to repair them after flood
damage repeatedly occurs.
The residents are not required to sell their homes. It
is a voluntary act and the county is offering them a
fair price. The residents, who have decided to stay, are
periodically urged to sell. Sold houses will be
destroyed and the area will be made into a park.
The houses were built in the 1800s so historical
researchers were called to determine if the houses had
any historical value. The researchers came to the
conclusion that they did not therefore granted approval
for the demolition.
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