The Mississippi River floods often, but from the reports of the residents of Wilkinson County, it’s never been this high. We were here to help the people affected the most by this disaster. Most of the stories we heard were good; if there was any damage it was light and the main complaint were the roads being blocked for a few weeks. We could see the water line halfway up an old barn. A completely damaged store sat right across from the food distribution area. The water was still visible from the road and was getting further and further away as the days passed. From the first few stories we heard, it seemed like almost everyone had escaped a lot of damage. However, the last day we were there, we got to hear a few more stories.
The first story was of a woman who lived about a mile from the distribution site. She said the damage to the house wasn’t too extensive. An inch of water got into her home, just covering the floor. This easily drained from the house, however she is having problems with cleanup. There was still five feet of water in her yard keeping her from being able to remove her furniture to begin cleaning her home. All she could do was spray mold retardant. She also was lacking help. Her husband was recovering from a hip replacement surgery and the person who had been helping her got into a car accident and had to be life-flighted to a nearby hospital.
Another story was from a woman and her son who lived in a site nine miles into the flood. The only way she and her son could meet us was by boat. Her house was elevated enough to escape the water, however the flood still hit her in a different way. She remembers the day, May 5th, when the power was knocked out by the flood. It was June 17th and she still had no electricity. This meant no utilities, water, air conditioning, or lights. She was able to boat out a few generators, but they didn’t help with everything. The electricity was not expected to be restored until August 1st. The cleanup process was slow and tedious, as she didn’t have flood insurance. Four other families around her were in the same condition. She also said her son was sick.
We were blessed with the opportunity to pray with these women for healing, dropping water levels, easy cleaning, and for peace. Their stories delved into what truly happens in a flood and exactly how people are affected. It was amazing to be able to serve people in the midst of a disaster that you would typically only see on the news.
Incoming student – Class of 2012