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Orange residents forced to evacuate due to rising water

ORANGE, Texas – Many residents in Orange spent Tuesday night at temporary shelters after evacuating their flooded homes.

Waters from the Sabine River continued to spill onto residential streets Tuesday night, with the river now expected to crest at around midnight Wednesday.

One shelter at Orange North Baptist Church has nearly 160 cots and was expected to be at capacity Tuesday night.

Robertnica Stevens came to the shelter Tuesday afternoon with her baby daughter.  Her ground floor apartment has started to flood. "It's like a fishing pond," Stevens said.

Billy Franklin, who lives a few blocks from 6th Street, evacuated his home over the weekend.  He returned to check on it on Monday and became trapped at his house in waist deep water.

"I’m disabled, living on a limited income and I don’t know how we going to bounce back from this," Franklin said.

His friend Henry got on a four-wheeler and attached it to a small boat, to help get Billy and some of his belongings to safety. “I mean it’s everything we’ve worked for, there's no salvaging a lot and we have to start over from scratch,” said Shequita Frankin, Billy’s relative.

Residents who have not yet evacuated their homes spent the day surrounding their properties with sandbags.  Eleanor McLeod says she won’t be evacuating her home, despite the rising water on her street.  “I just don’t think the water will get that high and if it does, I’ll go upstairs,” McLeod said.

Tuesday afternoon military trucks could be seen driving through hard-hit areas to help rescue anyone who needed it.

The Orange County Office of Emergency Management has ordered a mandatory evacuation in all low-lying areas.

There are currently three evacuee shelters across Orange County:

-North Orange Baptist Church at 4775 North Highway 87
-VFW Post 2775 at 5303 North Highway 87
-First Methodist Church at 11540 Highway 12