Some Mulvane well water still unsafe to drink after 2016 floods

MULVANE, Kan. (KSNW) – More than six months after floods devastated South Central Kansas, it is still unsafe for some flood victims to drink their well water.

“You can see the stuff floating around in there,” said Tim Garnica.

The tap water at Tim Garnica’s home doesn’t look awful, but ask anyone who lives in his Mulvane neighborhood and they will tell you not to drink the water.

“There is a lot of stuff that washed down from farmer’s fields to basically our drinking water,” Garnica said. “We have kids and we want to make sure every thing is safe.”

Garnica’s home was in the path of destruction when the flood waters hit South Central Kansas last year.

“Now, we are noticing mold, basically from our insulation underneath got all soaked and saturated. All of my out-buildings outside are pretty much trash. We are pretty much going to have to demolish those and rebuild them,” he said.

Garnica isn’t the only person still cleaning up from the floods. Disaster relief officials estimate more than 80 people in the Mulvane area are still dealing with flood damage.

“We’ve got lots of homes that need dry wall and mud and tape for dry wall, appliances, furnaces, air conditioners,” said Disaster Response Coordinator Hollie Tapley with the Great Plains United Methodist Conference. “It’s difficult to know that there are human beings just like we are, that every single day, get up, there’s water on the floor or they can’t cut on the faucet to get water, or their house is on to two-by-fours because they can’t afford the dry wall and insulation to put it back up.”

The need is so great, Tapley put out a plea on her Facebook page earlier this week asking people if they’d be willing to donate services and water to the flood victims.

“A friend in Missouri works for Catholic Charities saw it and said hey, I’ve still got pallets of water left over from the flood they had,” Tapley said.

Tapley said several more donors contacted her too, all saying they’d be willing to bring in water and supplies.

KSN was able to deliver the news about the water donations to Garnica and his family on Friday.

“Thank you for the safe drinking water. It’s going to help out tremendously,” Garnica said.

Relief organizers plan on delivering the water sometime next week. They are also working with a group to get the victim’s wells tested to find out if and when they can start using it for drinking water.

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