American Red Cross conducts disaster assessments in Union Co., SD
JEFFERSON, S.D. (KTIV) -
As the Turpens take a step back from their home, they let volunteers with American Red Cross evaluate the damage.
"We're at a standstill, not sure what we need to do, where we need to go. My basement was completely full, and I had approximately two feet of water in the main level of my house, so I had about six to seven feet surrounding my entire house, and in my house, total," Jefferson, SD Flood Victim Kari Turpen said.
"We evaluate, in this case, the height of the water. Normally, we see water lines on structures, which tells us how deep the water was," American Red CrossVolunteerr Linda Doran said.
Along with getting basic facts, Doran said it's essential to make sure these families have a safe place to stay, food to eat, and clothes on their backs.
"We kind of help steer them in the direction of recovery," Doran said.
"When something like this happens, and you've never been through it before, you have no idea where to start," Turpen said.
That's why Turpen said this is an important visit. In nearby Elk Point, South Dakota, at a home that was completely surrounded by water, another resident would agree.
"We've already begun some of the cleanup, but this isn't something me and my wife will be able to do alone," Grant Konechne said.
Konechne said the flood waters displaced him from his home. He has no electricity or air conditioning, and his basement is completely ruined.
"It's no fun pulling into a yard that's an absolute disaster," Konechne said.
He said these volunteers helped point him in the right direction and suggested groups they can call to help remove the sandbags left in his yard. But, Konechne said despite all he's dealing with, other people have it worse, and he's thankful for all the help.
American Red Cross volunteers said they plan to re-visit some of these homeowners at a later point to make sure they're still headed in the right direction.
For more information on how to contact the Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross, visit this website, or call them at 712-252-4081.
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