Flood in Kentucky: Hundreds of Latter-day Saint volunteers help clean up

More than 1,000 people from seven congregations of Latter-day Saints in central and western Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee and Ohio have spent the past two weekends cleaning up after devastating floods in July in eastern Kentucky.

Helping Hands volunteers cleared debris, shoveled mud from homes, moved furniture, prepared meals and served in various ways while many used their own tools and camped out in tents in the area, according to a news release.

Approximately 2,800 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contributed more than 27,000 total hours of service.

“I couldn’t believe it when I stopped to see all these people,” said Kent Dingus, a Latter-day Saint bishop from Kentucky. “It brings tears to your eyes and we just need to do these things to help others.”

Barry Spurlock, a Latter-day Saint from Lexington, Kentucky, described the organization that did the heavy labor.

“I’ve seen people come back covered head to toe in flood mud after clearing under a house and looking for another mission to go back and work some more,” he said. “I saw women covered in dirt from cutting down trees and visibly tired but smiling and laughing and ready to go back and do more.”

Crestwood Kentucky Stake Helping Hands volunteers fill buckets of mud from a basement in Hazard, Kentucky on Saturday August 20, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In addition to organizing volunteers, the church sent five truckloads of food and supplies in the week following the flood. Deliveries included more than 85,000 bottles of water, 3,600 five-gallon plastic buckets of cleaning supplies, food for more than 10,500 meals, and 600 pounds of clothing.

“It’s a huge deal for the people here,” said Keith Parsons, a local Latter-day Saint leader.

Read a full report of the church’s volunteer response to the Kentucky floods on the church newsroom.

A drone captures an image of tents at a command center in eastern Kentucky where Latter-day Saint volunteers camp while serving.

A drone captures an image of tents at a command center in eastern Kentucky where Latter-day Saint volunteers camp as they serve Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

About Harold Fergus

Check Also

West Kentucky Heart Walk helps raise awareness | New

The West Kentucky Heart Walk, one of more than 300 walks the American Heart Association …