Three months after historic floods impacted communities in Eastern Kentucky, the Patton family’s waterlogged and damaged belongings lay stacked and scattered across their yard. Their small dog found his way through the maze of items to eagerly welcome Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) employees and volunteers as they entered the chain link fence to evaluate the home.
Their home, which sits on the bank of a tributary from the nearby Big Sandy River, took on a foot of water inside during the flood. The Pattons received funds to stay at a hotel while they tried to find help with their home. But when the funds ran out, the husband, wife, and two children had no choice but to move back into their home, which suffered extensive damages and had no heating or cooling for the unpredictable spring weather.
“Several families are facing this. They more or less have to return to their same homes whether they are fixed or not,” said Ron Morrow, a crew leader in CAP’s Housing Program. He has been on the frontlines of disaster relief and recovery since the floods hit in early March as CAP’s Housing and Disaster Relief Programs have answered the call for help from families in need.
Morrow has led crews of volunteers to work on the Patton family’s home. The foot of flood water that came inside damaged and rotted the flooring and walls, in addition to lower cabinetry in the kitchen, and ruined insulation. The moisture inside also caused the ceiling to partially collapse.
Like several others at CAP, Morrow and his crews have worked tirelessly to make the Patton’s home safe, warm, and dry. MEI-Total Elevator Solutions, a CAP corporate partner out of Minnesota, is one of the groups that helped make quick work of the repairs this home needed. MEI employees spent a week working to rebuild the ceiling, walls, floors, and working inside and underneath the home to add new insulation. With their help the home repairs are nearing completion.
“Thank goodness for MEI and our other groups and volunteers for coming and helping with these efforts,” Morrow said. “We are blessed to have so many hands willing to do the needed work. With their help, we have been able to help more families in need and give them a sense of normalcy again.”
After the initial floods, CAP’s Housing and Disaster Relief Programs completed 160 home assessments and had teams on the ground in Eastern Kentucky communities surrounding Floyd, Johnson, Rockcastle, and Lawrence Counties. Today, recovery efforts continue in Appalachia as families struggle to rebuild their lives. Through employee and volunteer work, and partnerships made with regional groups and organizations, CAP has finished repairs on 25 homes with 14 more in progress or waiting to be addressed.
CAP will be hosting a distribution in Mt. Vernon for those who experienced damages caused by the flooding in Rockcastle County and surrounding counties. The distribution will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 17, at 495 Williams Street. Household and furniture items, cleaning supplies, paper goods, and other items will be distributed.
If you are a church, group, or community member interested in volunteering with CAP, contact Becky Neuenschwander at 606.872.0892.
To help CAP meet these continued needs of families and individuals impacted by flooding, visit www.christianapp.org/flood2021.