American Red Cross disaster relief workers delivered the last meal Monday evening to flood victims and cleanup crews in the Dry Creek community, but people who still need assistance won’t be left hanging.
“As we move to the next phase we’ll talk to families to see if they need assistance with groceries, medications replaced and things like that,” said Glenda Bobalik, executive director for the American Red Cross of
Northeast Tennessee. “The assistance becomes more individualized for each family.”
Through Monday night, the Red Cross had served 2,465 meals to residents affected by the flood and the volunteers helping with the cleanup.
“Part of it is donated, but the vast majority of it, we purchased,” Bobalik said.
While some services may be winding down, others are about to get started in the flood-damaged area.
County Mayor Dan Eldridge said several organizations will work together to help residents rebuild.
“We have Appalachian Service Project … they will focus on the new builds,” Eldridge said.
“They will be looking at all of our information, taking all the assessment information we have and determining candidates for new builds. They will go out to each residence and doing an assessment.”
Samaritan’s Purse will also be helping residents and will focus on rehabbing homes with flood damage.
“They have already started going door to door; they’re writing up individual work orders and then their teams will be here to start the rehab process,” Eldridge said.
“We’ll meet Thursday or Friday with all of our recovery organizations to make sure that every home on all of our lists that qualifies has been assigned to one of these organizations.”
Eldridge said the process to obtain funding from the Federal Emergency Agency is still ongoing, but the rebuilding process will continue on the local level as if no federal money will come.
FEMA re-evaluated damage in Washington County on Saturday and determined 54 homes were destroyed from the Aug. 5 flood, Eldridge said.
“The report was submitted to FEMA in Atlanta and then on to Washington,” Eldridge said.
“They said it could be as long as two or three weeks,” before any action is taken, but Eldridge has little hope for federal help.
“I don’t think we’re going to receive a disaster declaration.”
But he said efforts are underway to ensure residents who lost their homes aren’t left with nowhere to live.
“Again, we are going forward assuming this recover effort will be taken care of locally,” he said.
“We’re going forward. If we get surprised by FEMA they say they’re here to help, then all the better.”