Time is almost up for flood victims looking to the Red Cross for help. Their disaster relief ends in a few days and that could make it hard for some families to get what they need.
Red Cross officials say they still get calls every day from families across eastern Kentucky looking for help. But they say after Wednesday, they will be working with FEMA, and that could mean some families might be out of luck.
Jeff Jones saw the flood waters coming up through the floor boards, and his family lost just about everything in an instant. "Clothes, toys for the kids, everything. Appliances won't work," says Jones.
While waiting for help from FEMA, he says donations from the Red Cross helped tremendously. "Big difference. We've got clothes back on everybody, three outfits a piece don't go very far, especially when you're wallowing in mud," says Jones.
Red Cross officials say their job is to stabilize families until other organizations are in the area. And now, their disaster response time for this flood is almost up. Robyn Tackett with the Big Sandy says, "Everybody has to have a time line that they can have a window of opportunity and we've been here for almost three weeks now."
Red Cross officials are focusing on families that saw major damage or a total loss, meaning at least 36 inches of water in the living quarters of their home. Until Wednesday, the Red Cross has about 20 extra people working to get flood victims what they need.
"Anyone that's available for assistance through Red Cross, we want to take care of those people through this Wednesday evening, then at that time we will transition into FEMA assistance," says Tackett.
As for Jones, he says it will still take months to get back to normal and all the mud out of his house. "Seems like you get it out, and in a day or two it's back. It's just dusty what comes out of the floorboards. We'll have to paint the floors, seal them to keep the dust from coming back up."
Anyone needing help from the Red Cross should call 1-866-GET-INFO before Wednesday, June 3rd.
Robyn Tackett says the Red Cross is looking for other agencies to continue to help counties that did not get individual assistance from FEMA. Anyone needing that help should contact the Big Sandy Red Cross.