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Mobile showers and laundry services provide comfort to flood victims

“We want to give those opportunities to the residents so they can have a little bit of normalcy in their lives during the chaotic times,” Barb Gaines, a baptist disaster relief volunteer said.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 8:54 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Southsiders have seen their share of mud over the past couple weeks.

With two separate instances of flash flooding, they've found cleaning it all up to be a pretty dirty process. A group of volunteers has come to town to help clean up residents after trying to clean up the neighborhood.

After two weeks of cleaning up flood damage, residents are in need of a normal place to go.

"There's so many people that are still in their homes but they've lost their water heaters that's probably been the most common thing people have lost is heaters, washers and dryers,” Kylee Strough of the United Way said.

A baptist group was called to bring in trailers with showers and laundry machines.

“We want to give those opportunities to the residents so they can have a little bit of normalcy in their lives during the chaotic times,” Barb Gaines, a baptist disaster relief volunteer said.

Day after day pushing mud from garages, tearing out walls or moldy carpets.

"We had one person come in who hasn't had the opportunity to shower since the flood,” Gaines said.

It's hard to imagine being stuck without a water heater, shower, washing machines.

"They were also out of the clothing so he had to wait until the laundry was done to be able to even have clean clothing to change into,” Gaines said.

Social service leaders say these disaster relief groups are a godsend. A shower may seem like a small thing but all the small things add up.

“We know it costs a fortune to do your laundry at a laundromat and a shower is very needed especially if you've been mucking out your home or any type,” Strough said.

Volunteers say they are happy to provide some comfort and a little light.

“We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus and we don't think about all of the little things like not having a shower you can stand in to get nice and clean and warm,” Gaines said.

The showers and laundry services are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Lake Contrary Elementary.

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This week will be much cooler than last week for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Wind chills Monday morning will be in the teens with the daytime high only getting into the 40s. Current models indicate a slight chance for precipitation Wednesday night into Thursday morning. We have a slight chance to see drizzle overnight Wednesday and flurries and/or light snow possible Thursday morning.
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