Surging Waters: My Community Submerged
By Patty Olsen, TVG Senior Project Manager
On December 29, 2015, floodwaters started moving into my Eureka community at a rate higher than any previous floods in recent history. As a resident, I was fortunate that my only flood story was spending three days at home on an “Island” with no way in or out of our subdivision as the floodwater crept around from all sides. While I was figuring out how to entertain my seven-year-old son at home with no way to escape, other Eureka residents were trying to save their homes and personal belongings before the water reached their doorsteps. Still, other residents were watching as their businesses and houses were consumed by the Meramec River. The most difficult part of being on the “island” was the inability to help while the flood was happening. After the floodwater receded and the overwhelming damage to homes and businesses was revealed, it was clear how I should spend my MLK day of service.
Central Baptist Church in Eureka became known as the headquarters for flood relief and services in Eureka. I was fortunate enough to spend my day of service sorting through and packing donation items for flood victims, along with a great group of people who had been working endless hours before and after their jobs to provide comfort for those in need. Due to the overwhelming response of donations from the community and local businesses, volunteers were greatly needed to sort, pack and unpack items so that families and businesses affected by the flood could begin to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. The time spent building relationships with my fellow volunteers and giving back to the community that has provided so much for my family and me was a truly rewarding experience.
If you’d like to help people affected by the flood, please visit Donate to the Red Cross Flood Relief Efforts or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.