Local service extension unit assists flood victims

Break in levee floods town of Fernley, Nevada.

A flood damaged home in Fernley, Nevada. The Salvation Army is working with other agencies to provide long-term recovery.

Following an early January break in an irrigation levee in Fernley, Nev., Del Oro Division, six local volunteers of The Salvation Army’s service extension committee assisted 179 families (539 individuals) affected by two-square miles of flooding that damaged nearly 600 homes, some with as much as eight feet of water. The Army provided vouchers to victims to help them meet immediate needs, and a Reno Salvation Army employee and Fernley resident helped prepare meals at the evacuation center in the days following the flooding.

The Salvation Army is working with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other agencies to provide long term, unduplicated recovery services and to address the unmet needs of the Fernley flood survivors over the next several months. “Many homes are still damp and not useable,” said Patti Brooks, service extension director in the Del Oro division. “We are still there serving people providing food and basic necessitiesand will be there for a very long time, basically until they don’t need us anymore.”

Dennis Barr, service extension director for Northern Nevada, stated that it’s a long process for people to repair their homes. When the water subsides, you can see the high water mark, and all the sheet rock and flooring needs to be replaced. Barr is enthusiastic in speaking of the local committee’s efforts. “Shirley Williams, head of the committee, and Don Martin spent many, many hours helping people deal with the effects of the flood,” he said. “The committee was only formed two years ago, and this was their first disaster experience. I am proud of them and thankful for the awesome job they did.”

Monetary donations can be made to The Salvation Army, 1931 Sutro Street, Reno, NV 89512. The memo line should read Fernley Flood Assistance.

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