Thursday, December 22, 2011 | 10:10 a.m. CST
On May 2 this past spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blew open the Birds Point levee, flooding 130,000 acres of Southeast Missouri, including the village of Pinhook.
Pinhook has not recovered or received any help to rebuild. Its homes remain mired in mud, its residents scattered. The 30 or so folks who have long called Pinhook home now want to relocate as a community somewhere out of reach of the perpetual floods. But they need government assistance to do so, and almost eight months have passed with little progress.
Debra Tarver stands in front of what's left of the memorial to her father, Jim Robinson Jr., a man many considered to be the patriarch of Pinhook. The memorial was constructed not long after his death in 2004.
The setting sun shines through a flood damaged trailer in Pinhook in September. Residents of the village hope to move the entire community to higher ground in Mississippi County.
Debra Tarver, Zaporah Robinson and Z'hanae Robinson clean greens at Tarver’s new home in Sikeston. The families living in Pinhook had to relocate after the flood, but the former residents still get together nearly every week in homes around the area.
Mud and debris cake the sanctuary of the Union Baptist Church in Pinhook in October. For years, the church served as the central gathering place for residents of the town.
A Bible lays plastered in the mud where it fell on the floor of Union Baptist Church in Pinhook after the flood. Nearly eight months after the floodwaters went down, most buildings are still caked with mud and debris. The Bible fell open to Chapter 14 of Revelation: "Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder."
The roads leading into Pinhook look largely untouched as trees and crops grow back following the levee break in May. The roads through Pinhook are mostly empty since the residents evacuated.