MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says cleanup for flood victims in a southwest Memphis neighborhood is going to take time.
The mayor says fighting blight was one of his main goals, but he's telling people to be patient even though it's been nearly a year since the flood.
The area right off Peebles Street in southwest Memphis is tough to get to. Apparently it's so tough, that city officials haven't been able to find it.
Dozens of homes are empty after last year's flood waters made living in them impossible. The waters are gone but the problems aren't.
The neighborhood is just a memory. There's nothing fancy here; there was never anything fancy here. It was just some simple homes with people. It was a neighborhood.
And then the flood waters came. The homes were flooded so bad they need to be destroyed. Nothing else has happened.
"I was down there during the flooding," said Mayor Wharton. "That was one of the worst areas. Many of those houses were in jeopardy even before the flooding. It just made it worse. So we will be going into that area too."
Of course, he didn't say when. It's this type of thing that has Jenetta Wilson angry. It's been almost a year since the polluted waters of Nonconnah Creek rolled onto these streets and into these homes.
"We've lived our life here for 50 years. I've been here on this hill and all my children raised up. They've grown and gone. And so I'm here. And you don't have anywhere else to go."
When people are ignored, this is what happens. Feelings of safety and security are slowly washed away. It happened over here when the waters receded, and left rotting garbage and reality behind.
Wharton said, "Those homes are privately owned. We don't just walk in and smash the house down. We have to go through certain procedures."
There are neighborhoods in north Memphis that also need help, the mayor says. Plans are just starting and it's going to take some time - a long time.