Disaster response coordinator: ‘It’s providing a need to aid after a dark day’


BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (KSNW) – Nearly 100 homes in Sedgwick and Sumner County have been affected by last week’s flooding, according to the Great Plains United Methodist Conference, a disaster response group.

On Wednesday, Great Plains and the Kansas Red Cross had teams throughout the counties assessing the flood damage and trying to make contact with potential flood victims.

“This is what you do, you ride, and you look and then you take a turn and go check it,” said Great Plains United Methodist Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Hollie Tapley.

Tapley and her team have identified 97 homes that have been affected by the flood waters. She expects that number to rise as water levels recede.

“We are still trying to get down roads to get to houses,” Tapley said.

When Tapley’s team gets to a home, they ask the residents what kind of damage they have and how they can help.

“Some people have families, some people have friends that can jump in and help them,” she said. “There are some people that will say we have nobody and that’s where we come into play and that’s where all of our volunteers come into play.”

Tapley and her volunteers offer flood victims cleaning supplies, fresh water and their time.

“It’s a passion. It is my heart and it is my soul. I mean, I live it. I live it and it’s hard, yeah it’s hard and it’s long, but it is a drive,” she said.

KSN asked Tapley why she continues to do such a strenuous job. She said she does it because she wants to help people.

“Whether its a hug, a bottle of water, a cleaning bucket or coming into their home and getting their belongings out for them or cutting sheet rock for them or whatever, it’s providing a need to aid after a dark day and that’s why I do it,” she said. “If I can leave somebody at the end of working for them after all of this and know that they can take a step forward, it’s worth it.”

Great Plains and the Kansas Red Cross will be at the Belle Plaine Community Center at 528 N merchant Street, Belle Plaine, KS 67013 on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. to help flood victims.

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