Halloween flood victims celebrate Christmas - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Halloween flood victims celebrate Christmas

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The Christmas Spirit is trying to survive in a southeast Austin neighborhood that was hit by a Halloween flood. The Christmas wish list in Onion Creek includes a request for better police protection.

The Halloween flood waters are gone and Christmas decorations have started to go up in the Onion Creek neighborhood along Pleasant Valley Road.

Shelby Brown and his family got an early present from their insurance company; a new car to replace the one the flood took.

"What kind of Christmas is this going to be? An absolutely fabulous Christmas, the reason I say that is because we are still alive I have my son, my mother my wife my neighbors and I have two hands that can rebuild any of this stuff you know," said Brown.

Others also refuse to be discouraged by all the damage that still remains. Whether it's by flying an American flag in the yard or hanging ornaments on a bush as a make-shift Christmas tree, residents are celebrating.

However, a defiant spirit this holiday season is a hard substitute especially for 13-year-old Louis Cerda and his brother. They'll wake up Christmas day in a trailer that's parked in front of what's left of their home.

"It's going to be a different Christmas because we don't have a house or a tree so I don't know what's going to happen," said Cerda.

The October flood swept away so much. So what would a 13 year old who survived the high water want Santa to bring?

"Uhhhh that's hard, because I'd have to decide between a house and a new video game," said Cerda.

The Christmas wish for others in the neighborhood is for more police patrols. That tops the wish list for Angelica Sledge who described a recent case of theft she witnessed at her neighbor's house.

"See how somebody, I'd say just took the AC completely off the house."

Sledge said thieves are roaming unchecked and admits it was risky to confront the man she spotted in her neighbor's home.

"He was trying to take the TV and I caught him red handed and I told him this is not your house you are going to have to leave or I'm calling the police."

Police patrols, according to Sledge, are rarely seen now in the neighborhood.

"The last time I saw a cop I would say down here about a week ago, Sledge said.

"Yeah I feel like they are not doing what they're supposed to be doing," Sledge responded to the question of whether or not she felt abandoned by police.

There is concern all the progress that's made repairing her home could be undone by the lack of police protection. She is now thinking of getting a gun for personal protection in a neighborhood waiting for a silent night.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he will step up police patrols in the Onion Creek neighborhood hit by the Halloween Flood. Chief Acevedo, who is with family in California for the Holiday, returned FOX 7's call Tuesday evening.

The Chief said he was unaware of security problems until contacted by FOX 7 and as a result of the report he will have the Patrol Commander increase patrols in the neighborhood.

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