Volunteers Respond to Rural Arkansas Flooding

Families located in a remote section of northern Arkansas were forced to flee their homes after more than 10 inches of rain fell on April 29 and 30, causing the Black River, the area’s major river, to overflow its banks by 28 feet in some of the worst flooding in the past decade.

Headwaters volunteers recently responded to support area residents recovering from the devastation. Arriving in the small town of Pocahontas where the command center was established, they joined teams from across the region to assist in the critical tasks of mucking out, tearing down moldy drywall and providing support for the hundreds effected by the disaster. A portion of their time was spent staffing the Volunteer Reception Center where they registered volunteers and oversaw the data base to record volunteer hours. This data is critical for local governments to track to receive FEMA funding for disaster recovery.

Other groups of Headwaters volunteers worked in the Salvation Army’s donation center where they sorted clothes and household items for redistribution. Additional volunteers joined Reach Out Worldwide, a network of professionals with first responder skill-sets who augment local expertise when natural disasters strike, in tearing out mold-infested drywall. Volunteer Amanda Jung described discovering mold in a wall from a previous flood that had been causing illnesses among family members in the home.

“Our work had a great impact in helping people get their lives back on track,” said team lead Mike Hardy. “Many of the residents were in pretty remote locations so they were particularly grateful to get our help.”

To view photos of the Arkansas Flooding April 2017 go here.