Aurora Reyes, flooded out of her home during Tropical Storm Lee, prepares to move into new home at Holly Acres mobile home park in Woodbridge, Va.

5:36 PM, Sep 5, 2012   |    comments
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WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WUSA) -- The Holly Acres mobile home park in Woodbridge is on the mend.

A year after remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, folks still don't have a place to call home. But with a lot of help, nearly a dozen families are on the fast track to moving in soon.

It's a day Aurora Reyes will never forget.

"I'm nervous. I can't pick nothing I run, run, run." Reyes remembers racing to save anything in the rushing and rising flood waters. She was just lucky to get out alive.

The devastation forced Reyes and her children out of their home. They've bounced from one place to another for the last year.
But the flowers she planted after the flood symbolize how she hasn't lost hope she'd return.

And today proves it.

Volunteers with Project Mend-A-House are working under, over, tearing up, pulling apart and putting back together a new home for Reyes and her family.

Bill Okuly is the project coordinator. "It's what we do everyday, it's normal for all my guys," he said.
The team is mainly made up of retired folks who love construction work and the results it brings.

Reyes is all smiles. "Thank you and thank you and thank you,"
Reyes said. "I'm happy, I'm very happy. I'm working too. I fell down." Reyes points to a scraped shin.

Reyes is one of the lucky ones. Flood waters destroyed dozens of mobile homes. They had to be demolished.

Okuly says, "We are going to save nine of them. We'd save more but we can't because of the flood plain."

Wednesday, Reyes and Project Mend-A-House reached a major milestone. County inspectors came by and gave the thumbs-up for the progress so far. It's a huge step because the county had wanted to evict nearly a dozen families for good. But they came to an agreement this summer for them to do the repairs.

Reyes says, "Every time they say, mommy I miss home. Need back my home."
Okuly says, "It's heartwarming. We love it. We love it."

Project Mend-A-House can't do it alone. They need volunteers and building material. Reyes still needs a furnace.

Okuly says they help families who qualify and are low-income. It will cost roughly $,000 to repair each mobile home at Holly Acres.

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