Samaritan’s Purse helping Breathitt Co. flood victims, in need of volunteers
BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Many volunteers and organizations are throughout eastern Kentucky right now, helping the hundreds if not thousands of people in need there.
One of those organizations is Samaritan’s Purse, which arrived in Breathitt County Monday night. Their relief efforts started Tuesday morning.
Samaritan’s Purse is on the ground trying to help families rebuild now that the flood waters have receded, and many homes are destroyed. Ed Teegardin is out assessing damage. He works with Samaritan’s Purse, which is a group from North Carolina that helps homeowners rebuild after natural disasters.
“Removing mud and debris from homes and yards,” said Karissa Ryan, the assistant program manager of disaster relief with Samaritan’s Purse.
Elizabeth Clemens, who lives in Vancleve, said flood water was so high it reached above their top window. Now that it’s gone, all that’s left is damage.
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“I don’t think you can really describe how you feel when you see that. We’re just lucky to be safe pretty much,” Clemens said.
Katie Turner and her husband had closed on a home on July 22, and just six days later, it was destroyed. The before and after pictures are unbelievable.
“You have to have faith that something good is going to come from this. That even though you have a mountain of debt and no home and no money to fix what’s left of this, something good has to come from it,” Turner said.
Religious groups have set up tents along KY-15 offering hot meals to those who stop by.
“There’s a lot of sorrow and heavy lifting going on in the area and we’re here to help,” said Clair Martin with Christian Aid Ministries.
Samaritan’s Purse is looking to help homeowners get rid of the mess.
“It is a very traumatic experience for the homeowner to see everything they own for to the curb,” Teegardin said.
But it’s a task they can’t do by themselves.
They had planned to send out cleanup teams Tuesday afternoon, but not enough volunteers showed up. The group hopes it’ll be a better turnout on Wednesday. They say at least eight to 12 people are needed to clean a home. Volunteer orientations will be every day this week twice a day at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
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