Volunteers from Breathitt County and from out of state help homeowners recover

JACKSON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Five months after the devastating floods in Breathitt county, he headlines have faded, but families are still trying to recover. After the water receded, volunteers from around town and out of state came to help. It takes only a few seconds of a walk through a home in Breathitt County to see the water damage.Ruined appliances, pulled out floors and walls, and flood water lines are just a few examples of what disaster looks like. Home owners like Rhonda McIntosh, say it’s a big mess, however, she sees every small repair as a milestone.

“Its a slow process but it’s well worth it,” says McIntosh.

Pastor Phil Swartzentruber worked together with about 15 others after march flooding. Since then, he’s been helping clean up some of the homes and the heartbreak.

“Seeing people forced to live in a home that’s just very hard to live in because they don’t have the necessities of life is probably the saddest part,” says Swartzentruber.

Swartzentruber says about 100 plus homes still need work. Each week, volunteers manage 2 or 3 at a time, even replacing and installing some appliances

“I never had no sink or nothing..It was like a shell. One of the volunteers looked at me real weird because I said I don’t need to wash dishes in the bathtub no more thank you jesus,” says McIntosh.

Luckily, these community volunteers aren’t alone. Over the past few months, they’ve gotten some out of state help from out-of-state churches and Mennonite Disaster Service. Workers from the national disaster service group like Fred Hershey say there’s a lot of work left to do and a full recovery could take a long time.

“Because you are getting into the fall and the winter months..and things can’t be done readily in the winter..and volunteers don’t like to volunteer so much in the winter time..When it’s cold so it could take another year,” says Hershey.

Volunteers say they’re not putting down the tools yet and are asking for more people to help.

“If its just a small thing you need, there’s nothing too small to ask for because there’s so many people around the county that want to help each other,” says Swartzentruber.

If you’re living in Jackson kentucky and would like the help of some of these volunteers, click the link here to their Facebook group.

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