Doug Wilson will be the first in the Dry Creek community to have his house replaced. The groundbreaking is scheduled for 10 a.m. today. (Becky Campbell/Johnson City Press)
Flood recovery: Appalachian Service Project begins rebuild efforts
Oct 22, 2012 at 9:57 PM
Doug Wilson is a man of few words, but as he looked over the site where his new home will sit, he said he’s “getting a little excited,” with the project.
“I think it’ll be nice,” Wilson said Monday.
Wilson has lived on Dry Creek Road all his life, and was inside his family’s old home place Aug. 5 when raging flood water tore it from the foundation and moved it about 50 yards.
For several days after the flood, the house sat perched at an angle with one corner taking up half the road. A county road crew bulldozed the house and hauled off the pieces.
“I been gettin’ along day by day, step by step,” he said. “Everybody’s been good to me.”
Now, nearly three months later and after a lot of paperwork to get rebuilding projects under way, the Appalachian Service Project will officially break ground on Wilson’s new home.
County and ASP officials will hold a 10 a.m. ground breaking ceremony today on Wilson’s property at 293 Dry Creek Road.
Wilson isn’t the only resident along Dry Creek who will get a new home. ASP has 46 new homes planned for the flooded area.
The plans for the houses are pretty much the same — three bedroom, one bath, living room, kitchen and laundry room inside a 24-by-36 structure.
Across the road, Bill Byrd is also glad to see work begin on his new home. He had just rescued his dogs from their kennels Aug. 5 when the water rose quickly around his home and started floating it away.
“As easy as it moved us, you couldn’t feel it moving,” he said.
His new home will be located about 350 feet closer to the road and away from the creek, he said.
Byrd’s next door neighbor, Randall Baldwin, is also anxious for his house to be built. Some of the initial work, like digging the foundation and pouring footers, is already complete.
Baldwin said the night of the flood, he went out to rescue his dogs from their kennels as the water rose and could hear a rush of water coming down the creek.
His dogs “swam out,” of their kennels when he opened the doors, he said.
“I’ve lived here 18 years and I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said.
ASP President Walter Crouch said the process to find help for families is ongoing.
“Even as work begins on these new homes, we continue to meet with partner agencies to find ways to assist the many other families whose homes were damaged by this terrible event,” he said.
Other recovery work is under way down the road at WW Miniature Horse Farm where Bill and Wanalynn Chapman live.
Friends and volunteers have helped the couple clean up the place and repair fences so they could get all their horses back home, and repairs to the house are under way.
The Chapmans lost more than a dozen animals in the flood, but the rest of the herd, along with several goats and a donkey, are back on the farm.
Repairs to their house, which almost had to be demolished, are also ongoing. So far, the Chapmans have a new roof and sub floor, and the HVAC system is being installed this week.
For more information about the ASP and upcoming work in Dry Creek, call Hart Teague at 854-4426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.