Katie and Tim Smith celebrate the completion of their new home in the Dry Creek community. Press photo by Ron Campbell
When Tim and Katie Smith found out they were getting a new house free of charge to replace his mold-infested Dry Creek trailer, they thought it was a joke.
And until they saw the foundation being poured, they still weren’t completely convinced it would really happen.
On Friday, the couple officially received the keys to the brand new two-bedroom home. Their mobile home was damaged in the August 2012 flood and had mold growing in it. Katie Smith said the mold was not good for a lung disorder she has.
The Smith’s home at 968 Dry Creek Road is the 16th house built through the Appalachian Service Project. Roger Southerland, the general contractor on the project and also a real estate agent for Remax, said his office took on the Smith home as a community project.
“This house was built with private donations except for about $5,000 in federal funding,” Southerland said. He said volunteers, including students from Iowa State University who spent their spring break in March in Dry Creek, provided labor for the project.
See gallery of photos from the house at the end of this article.
Charles Oberweiser, assistant to the president of ASP, said new home projects will continue through the summer in Dry Creek.
“We’ve completed 16 homes during the spring. We have about half a dozen to build during the summer. We’ll hopefully try by about the one year anniversary of the flood to wrap up the major construction,” he said.
“We have a tremendous number of volunteers coming in for the summer. We have a volunteers here this week to help us. If people want to volunteer they can do that through Appalachian Service Project,” Oberweiser said.
As for the Smiths, they were ecstatic to get the keys to their home — particularly since they’d been forced to sleep in their van a few nights due to Katie’s breathing issues.
“The main reason we applied (for assistance) was to help the people on the other end,” of Dry Creek, she said, referring to where most of the visible flood damage occurred.
Tim Smith said water pushed up through the floor of their mobile home and he pulled up the boards and “just went on.” He and his wife never imagined they would qualify for a new house.
“We thought was a joke,” after learning about the approval for a new home, Katie Smith said. “I keep saying I won Jesus’ lottery.
“I’m so blessed. I have a wonderful husband and a brand new home,” she said.