Washed Away: Navy Volunteers Help Flood Victims
PENSACOLA, Fla. – It was just another thunderstorm. Or so they thought.
As rainwater began to seep through the window sills and doors, Barbara quickly realized this storm was different. Within five minutes, her house was filled with three feet of water.
“That’s when I started to panic,” she said. Five minutes later, the water had risen to six feet.
Barbara, her husband John, and their two sons fled to the attic, cutting a hole in the roof to escape the rising floodwaters, where they were eventually rescued by boat. They later returned home to complete devastation.
“We lost everything,” Barbara said. “The current was so strong it just took everything out of the house. Everything was in shambles.”
In the wake of such severe flooding, CBN’s Operation Blessing deployed teams of volunteers, including service men from the U.S. Navy, armed with wheelbarrows, shovels, crowbars, hammers and more to help affected residents.
Volunteers helped removed damaged carpet, drywall, insulation and personal belongings from residents’ homes so they could begin the rebuilding process.
“The partnership between our US Navy volunteers and Operation Blessing has been great and allowed us to give back to the community we’re serving,” said Chief Petty Officer Dan Rayburn.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Airman Cody Vickers. “We join the military for the people, so having a chance to actually volunteer on the home front is great, and it just shows our support for the community and that we appreciate how much they support us.”
For residents like Barbara, their support and service has meant everything. “I’m just so thankful,” she said.
In addition to helping storm victims in Florida, Operation Blessing teams were also hard at work in Tupelo, Mississippi, aiding families devastated by tornadoes spawned from the same storm system.
Last year, Operation Blessing’s U.S. Disaster relief team responded to five major U.S. disasters, serving over 17,000 meals; delivering more than 288,000 lbs. of relief including emergency food, water, blankets and supplies; and managing more than 10,000 volunteers who provided over 71,000 hours of volunteer service helping residents and families in need.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help by making an online donation toward CBN’s Operation Blessing International’s disaster relief efforts. With your support, we can continue to provide emergency relief and recovery. Please make an online donation today.
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