Nashville, Tennessee resident Randall Hamm was shocked to see what flood water has done to his home.
Randall Hamm, Flood Survivor: “Stuff that was in the kitchen is in the back room.”
“Music City” alone sustained $1.5 billion in damage due to a record 13 inches of rainfall across Tennessee the first two days of May. Hamm came home from work to find boats rescuing his neighbors.
Hamm said, “I knew my dog was in here and they wouldn’t take me out there in the boat to get her. So, some guys had a rope. They tied the rope around me and I jumped in the water and swim over here. I had my door key in my mouth. I opened the door up and she was floating on the couch right here.”
The loss of property is stunning. Family photos and belongings piled in the street, unsalvageable. Sandy DeLoach bagged 49 years of history from the home of her elderly in-laws.
She said, “It’s sad to know that I’m throwing away some things that may be treasureable. But they’re gone.”
Neighbors needed a bit of good news, and it began arriving from all over the U.S. The United Methodist Committee on Relief’s disaster response teams stepped in with tools.
Joe Minor is a Salem United Methodist volunteer from Evansville with a crew from Indiana.
He said, “We’ve removed all the insulation out of the walls. It was wet. Really just preparing it to where they can come back and reconstruct.”
Paul Givens of St. Mark’s United Methodist in Murfreesboro and his UMCOR team are old pros. They’ve been to hurricanes Hugo, Andrew and Katrina.
He said, “On average, I would say we do five or six disasters a year, just depends. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, whatever.”
This is Hoosier Gerald Davis’ first trip. He said, “We are here to do as much as we can so it cuts down on their expense.”
The Rev. David Lay, a United Methodist Disaster Coordinator, said, “We will be here through that whole process, until they can get back into their home.”
Home owner Hamm said, “It’s deeply appreciated. If it wasn’t for people like this, we’d really be in bad shape. It means the world to me.”
See the video, click here.
To learn how you can help, contact UMCOR at 800-918-3100.