Volunteers Pave Way to Recovery for Flooded Homeowners in Moose Lake

By KBJR News 1

June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM CDT

Moose Lake, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Just four days after the one year anniversary of the 2012 floods that left much of 1st Street along Cedar Avenueunderwater, and the similarities are a little eerie. It's hot, humid, buggy, and people are busy at work inside a gutted basement.

"Recent rains meant they've got water [inside] again. I think they've discovered that new problems have arisen," said Pastor Robyn Weaver, of the Glen Avon Presbyterian Church in Duluth.

Heat aside there are some major differences, one of them being the fact you can walk through this backyard, which was virtually impossible during last year's flood. The other difference: the style of work has changed.

Instead of pumping basements dry, a team of 50 volunteers from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is busy sawing, hauling, and rebuilding this house's basement piece by piece. Like the Red Cross, the PDA is always busy aiding in disaster recovery from coast to coast.

This group, co–organized by Pastor Weaver and Reverend Kari Jutila of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Duluth, has been coordinating with Flood Homes with Hope and Lutheran Social Service since last year to find homeowners with the greatest need.

"They're very appreciative. The homeowner thanked us very much and took some pictures with our permission because his wife is away. We are tackling some things he can't do, and he's going to finish up when we're done. It's that help that he's so grateful for," said Rev. Jutila.

While public infrastructure projects have been relatively more straightforward in the planning and funding process, some homeowners have found themselves with no flood insurance, and no means of recovering.

"There [are] always some folks who don't have the labor, and they don't have the money to afford labor, so we come along as free labor. Some folks are disabled, and unable to complete the projects," said Pastor Weaver.

For the next three days, this group will be hammering away (how many houses) along Cedar Avenue. The goal this week: four homes in four days. Come Thursday, it's off to Cloquet, "together—Presbyterians, Lutherans, Meninites—and we share so much in common. These are the moments when we realize what we share in common," said Pastor Weaver as the work continued behind her on the Cedar Ave house.

...one community being rebuilt by another.

Carlton County alone has 318 damage sites as a result of the flood.

- Posted to the web by Billy Wagness