Disaster relief team helps flood recovery in Hamlin

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HAMLIN, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Team members with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention are in Hamlin for the next few days, helping residents clean up the mess caused by last week’s damaging floods.

The disaster relief team’s lead says more volunteers are welcome to join their efforts. Those interested are to call the First Baptist Church in Hamlin at 325-576-3664 to make arrangements.

The team started their Big Country cleanup on Tuesday. They had already cleared wet drywall and insulation from one home on County Road 103, and by noon focused their efforts across the street to the home of Ellie Richards.

Richards says when the rain started on Memorial Day, she thought the waters would recede as they had always done after heavy rain, but soon enough water would make it inside her home.

“Before I could do anything about it, the water was coming under the doors and was actually coming not just under the doors, but under the walls,” said Richards.

Richards knew fighting the flood would be futile – the water quickly rising knee-deep inside, waist-deep outside. She would just have to shelter somewhere else until drier times prevailed.

She stayed with her sister in Lubbock in the meantime, returning home midweek. The murky floodwaters were gone, but evidence of its presence remained clear throughout the home.

“There was a layer of mud all over everything,” said Richards.

Richards says a few folks had already stopped by to help her move furniture that was beyond repair from her home. The SBTC disaster relief team was the latest to offer a hand on Tuesday.

Team member David Dean says relief teams like his are grouped across Texas – traveling across Lone Star land offering aid following hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other disasters.

While efforts are mostly contained to Texas, Dean say it’s not unheard of for volunteers to travel to states like New York or Wisconsin, or wherever help is needed. He says the desire to drive or fly to affected locations is largely faith fueled.

“We are fueled by the love of Jesus and what he’s done for us,” said Dean. “We want to go out and help others.”

That caring effort has not gone unnoticed by people who may have to bear the burden of recovery alone, with Richards as one of those offering her gratitude.

“It’s been such a blessing, that has been a true blessing to me,” said Richards.

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