Cleaning up after the flood: Big Lake

MANILA, AR (KAIT) – Residents living in the Big Lake area are sifting through what's left of their homes after the flood waters came rushing through.  The clean-up has started but, until government help arrives, many don't have anywhere to go.

"First thing that comes to mind, a disaster," said Beckey Galloway.

The home Galloway grew up in that her mother still lives in was inundated by water.  When the water receded, the family found almost everything was destroyed.

"Pictures and sentimental things were lost but and our family has been saved," said Galloway.

Galloway said the water rose so fast they barely had time to get out.  When the water reached its highest point it was a few feet deep in the home.

"Everything here was set up on blocks thinking we might be able to save it on blocks, but it was still over two feet deep," said Galloway.

Now the clean-up process has begun.

"The sheet rock and all of that is ruined.  We're going to try that first, to pull the sheet rock and if that don't work then I guess we'll just have to tear her whole house down and start over," said Galloway.

Galloway said FEMA and the Red Cross have assessed the area, but they are still waiting to hear back.

"Red Cross helped us with money wise to replace our personal belongings like clothes and diapers for our babies but other than that we've not had any help from them yet," said Galloway.

Local churches have been lending a helping hand with food and volunteers.

"We're just going to try rebuild and the churches and everybody is trying to help us around here," said Galloway.

Gearld Daniel lives just down the road and the flood waters completely destroyed his home.

"Destroyed our trailer, I mean destroyed.  It wiped us out everything we had," said Galloway.

The place he once called home is no longer there and now he lives in a makeshift home.

"We're living in this tent and this wagon and nobody in the United States of America should have to live like we're living.  We should have some kind of help from somebody," said Daniel.

Jeremy Bennett lives in the area.  He has been working hard to get help for those affected by the flood waters.

"FEMA has been out and done an initial assessment.  It is my understanding that they are working towards compensating homeowners for their loss," said Bennett.

Bennett said although help may be on the way the residents that live near Big Lake need help now.  He said he is thankful for all the churches and volunteers that have helped.

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