Ten days after massive flooding struck the south-central Kansas town of Mulvane, crews from the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church have concluded their early response to disaster relief in the area and are ready for long-term recovery.
“We’ve got to do a ride-around, but it looks like it’s back to normal in Mulvane,” the Rev. Hollie Tapley, disaster response coordinator, said Aug. 29. “We’re ready for long-term recovery to start.”
Storms on Aug. 19 dumped as much as 7 inches of rain on Mulvane in about two hours. Tapley said 168 homes were registered as damaged to the American Red Cross. All of those homes have been cleared out and are ready for repair, she said.
“It’s time to go back in and put new drywall, new insulation, new flooring,” she said. “Just getting them back to the way it was before the flood.”
Besides the United Methodist efforts, crews from Lutheran Disaster Services and Team Rubicon assisted those whose homes were damaged by flooding.
“It’s going to take a while for some of these to dry out,” Tapley said.
At least 150 flood buckets – five-gallon buckets with cleaning supplies for short-term relief – compiled by United Methodists across the Great Plains – were distributed to Mulvane victims.
“They’re phenomenal, the response to those flood buckets,” Tapley said.
Some churches are concentrating on one project, she said – Asbury United Methodist in Wichita was scheduled to send a crew to a house on Aug. 30.
“People have been very gracious, very opening to our teams,” Tapley said. “It’s been a great, positive experience for everybody all the way around.”
The Mulvane flood aftermath has improved the communication between the United Methodists and the Red Cross, Tapley said.
“This experience has been good for us, working together with them,” she said. “We’re looking at how we can do it better the next go-around.”
Among the volunteers was David Rayson of Wichita, who said everyone he assisted was appreciative.
“One volunteer came and asked if the city was paying us,” the retired teacher said with a laugh. “No, we’re doing it for free.”
Rayson said he was proud of the work he and other volunteers had done.
“Whenever you can help people, it’s always a success,” he said. “I’m glad we could do this.”
Contact David Burke, communications coordinator, at email@example.com.