Before the flood in Waverly, Carmen had two freezers and two refrigerators full of food. Now, she comes to our mobile food pantry in clothes she received from a disaster relief center.

“Everybody lost everything,” she said. “I lost everything I’ve ever had.”

When the rain came, before the waters rose, lightning struck a gas line in Carmen’s neighborhood, burning down her and her neighbor’s homes. Then the creek swelled and carried the homes off their foundations. A few were completely swept out of the neighborhood.

“I’m still wondering where them three houses ended up at. Ain’t no telling.”

Everything was singed and soiled. Still, people looted Carmen’s property.

“Someone stole my 14-foot concrete front porch. They stole all my foundation blocks.”

Carmen watched from a distance as the creek began white-capping and pulled trees, homes, lawn mowers, and cars through the current. In the aftermath, she stayed with a friend as she looked for a new home.

“There was this one house that looked like a shed. It was leaning. They wanted $95,900 for it.”

That was almost as much as she’d received from her insurance for her ruined home, which was definitely bigger than a shed. She turned it down, but she found another house by the train tracks. Her one condition was that there could be no water nearby — no river, no creek, no puddles. The train noise is better than the water.

Over the last couple months, most of the debris in Waverly has been cleaned up, but there is still so much work to be done. Let us continue to support our Waverly neighbors in our prayers and our actions. Join us out there every second Saturday of the month through 2023!