TUNICA CUTOFF, MS (abc24.com) - Four months after flood waters moved into their weekend hideaway, one family in Tunica's Cutoff has finished renovating and is moving back. The family had a lifetime invested in the place. The flood forced them to invest even more time and money.
Memories of the Mississippi's record flood that destroyed her weekend home in the Cut-Off's Nel-Win Camp are still fresh in Janice Sowell's mind. But now she's thinking about a fresh start.
"It's been a long journey," says Sowell. "We were fortunate we could put it back together."
She and her family are finished. After months of clean-up and renovations, they've removed all traces of the flood.
"We're thrilled to be back," Sowell tells abc24.com.
And the word Sowell can't stop saying? New.
"Everything in here is new," she laughs. "New floor, new walls, new beds, bedding, everything. And it smells good, too. It doesn't have that mold smell, which I was afraid of."
The Sowells spent $30,000 of their own money to make the repairs. After 25 years of coming to the cutoff on the weekends, it was too much for the family to give up.
"This is our fishing and hunting cabin," Sowell says. "It's really become a way of life for us."
"Some people play golf, some go boating," says son-in-law Corey Sharpe. "We go fishing and hunting here."
The Sowells aren't the only ones returning to the camp.
"You can ride around the camp and see life coming back," says Sharpe. "When you come in, you're dodging concrete trucks and work crews. It's exciting to see this place come back."
"Even as bad as this was, and as heartbreaking as this was," says Sowell, "you just believe in yourself and believe in God that it can be done. You start all over brand new, and that's what we did."