Donations for small towns waiting on state, FEMA assistance
A first responder couple out of Berea is working to supply Neon, KY with what's needed to be functional
RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – Many people are organizing donation efforts across central Kentucky to send to impacted people from the floods. Rebecca and Jonathon Sizemore are both first responders and have friends who were greatly affected in the floods last week.
“I couldn’t imagine waking up in the morning and every single thing that I had being gone,” says Rebecca Sizemore, an EMT in Madison County.
When the Sizemores heard how dire the situation was in the small town of Neon in Letcher county, the couple knew they had to help in any way they could. For the past four days, the Sizemores have been collecting and buying food, water, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and pet food to help the town get to a functioning level.
“These are communities who didn’t have anything to begin with and they just lost it all,” says Rebecca. “Their neighbors can’t help them because they didn’t have anything to begin with and they lost it too so it’s just sad.”
“It’s such a large disaster area in eastern Kentucky spanning multiple counties that some of the smaller communities aren’t getting, the state resources and the federal resources haven’t made it there yet,” says Jonathon Sizemore, McKee Police chief.
The couple says right now, Neon doesn’t need more food as much as it needs cleaning supplies and clean water. The Sizemores say the town is expected to be without water for at least 30 days.
The Sizemores say the rain Sunday night re-flooded Neon, making some roads into town impassable, and with more rain expected throughout the week, progress will be very slow going. Not only is Neon trying to literally keep its head above water, the town is also having to deal with looters and tourists.
“It’s a disaster zone, it’s worse than Armageddon to use a better word, but it’s not a tourist attraction,” says Jonathon.
“They also have people who are coming down there, getting lost on these backroads. The roads are not in good condition so they’re having to use their resources to go rescue the tourists and that’s not helping them at all,” says Rebecca.
The Sizemores say donation needs don’t just change day to day but hour to hour and they plan to help for as long as the need is there.
The team has an Amazon wishlist that can be found at the link HERE. You can also message Rebecca Sizemore on Facebook if you’d like to coordinate a supply or check drop off. Her Facebook page can be found HERE.