Greenbrier County, W.Va.– In the wake of devastating flooding in West Virginia, Disaster Relief’s efforts are appreciated and spurring on more volunteers.
A Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief group from Ashland has been working on the home of Charles Cobb, a homeowner in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
On the evening of June 24, he and his wife evacuated their home. Neighbors told him that within a 15 minute time slot, the water had risen five feet. The waters totaled almost 30 inches in his home.
“Three things that were saved were my Bible, a plaque that said, ‘God bless our home,’ and in front of the house we have a rock that’s engraved with Ecclesiastes ‘For everything there is a season,'” Cobb shared.
He continued, “This is my wake up call. That’s all I can say. To everybody who came around I said ‘Don’t feel sorry for me, because I needed a wakeup call. I feel sorry for everybody else but this thing won’t get me down.”
Disaster Relief volunteers helped him clean out sheetrock, remove insulation, subflooring, furniture and kitchen cabinets as well as disinfect for mold and set up commercial grade fans to dry things out.
“Prayer, that’s what I need,” Cobb added. “I have a tear in my eye because strangers come in, and they’re doing so much. I could never thank them enough.”
The devastation of the flooding has also resulted in more SUVs or spontaneous untrained volunteers than DR has possibly ever seen, Bill Johnson, Kentucky DR’s West Virginia Incident Command leader, said.
“In the past, DR has not utilized a lot of SUVs. All of our people have to do a training, but more and more we are getting who just want to come out and help as soon as they see something of this magnitude. So there is a lot of manpower and labor that we can utilize, and we’re working with a lot of those,” he said. These volunteers are coming from all over and they are not all Southern Baptist.
They give the untrained volunteers a quick orientation and pair them with a team or induvial who is trained.
“Our goal is they come out and work with us, see how organized we are, the equipment and leadership we have and they will want to come back and get trained. We had several say, ‘When this is over, I want to get trained.’ We are pulling them in that way, and that’s a good thing,” Johnson added. (WR)