Family Faced with a Double Disaster Finds Help in Lutheran Social Services

By KBJR News 1

August 13, 2013 Updated Aug 13, 2013 at 5:41 PM CST

Scanlon, MN (NNCNow) - It is tough enough to rebuild when one disaster virtually wipes away all you have come to know and love, but what happens when a second disaster does it all over again?

That's exactly what happened to the Morrisroe family, of Scanlon. However, one coordinated team of volunteers wasn't about to leave it there.

It took little more than some excess floodwater to soak the basement, followed by a heat wave in June of last year, to spread potentially dangerous mold through Rosella Nelson–Morrisroe's home, rendering it uninhabitable.

"There wasn't a lot of water, but it was enough," said Nelson-Morrisroe, a mother of five. "It doesn't matter if it's a lot of water, or just a little bit; it's still damaging."

As was the case with many Northland homes post 2012 flood, Lutheran Social Services stepped in and began renovations in the following weeks.

"And then, low and behold, March 1st there was a garage fire that spread into the house," said Nelson-Morrisroe. "We lost everything."

The disaster déjà vu, coupled with a bitter Northland winter, forced Nelson–Morrisroe and her five kids to live in a motel. But when LSS caught wind of the tragedy, they went to work immediately and put together another recovery effort.

On Tuesday, that team of Mennonite Disaster Services volunteers was busy putting up the new walls of their new house; the work of which is entirely pro–bono.

"Their contribution is the labor," said Dean Minardi, Regional Reconstruction Manager for Lutheran Social Services. "They have skilled craftsman who take out time from their jobs to rebuild."

Come Wednesday, a new roof should be over their heads.

"Our goal is, by the end of this week, to have this home weather–tight," said Minardi.

"I'm just so glad that they're helping my mom," said Maria Morrisroe. "She's been through a lot in her life, and for once she's getting so much help. It's just so nice to see."

According to Lutheran Social Services, there are still over 30 homes throughout the Northland that need varying levels of skilled labor, and recovery efforts, since June's flood.

To find out how you can help families with flood damaged homes, you can reach Lutheran Social Services Cloquet office at 218-879-6897.

Written by Billy Wagness