Today is day one of the NOMADS Disaster Rebuild project in Maysville, OK. Our rigs are in Elmore City, but the flooding on June 12, 2016 was in Maysville about 14 miles north of Elmore City. Maysville is a little town of 1,232 people with slightly more than 21% living below the poverty line. Beef Creek runs thru the middle of the town and with very heavy rain within a matter of a few hours homes in the lower area of town were inundated with more than 2 feet of water. There are some videos of the area showing cars almost under water. There was one news report of cars floating down the streets.
The home owner at the home we were working on today said that his dog woke him up about 4:30am and when he got out of bed to let her out there was water up to his ankles. By the time he and his wife left the house it was up to his knees in the bathroom. The flooding quickly receded but left homes ruined and possessions lost. Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response became involved and there have been Volunteers in Mission (VIM), teams working in the homes mucking them out and in the home we worked in today, the VIM teams had started the rebuild. We hope to complete this home in the next day or two and it won’t be any too soon for the home owners. They had been staying with family but over the weekend couldn’t wait any longer and moved back into the yet unfinished house sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. They have no other furniture or appliances. After today, all the plumbing is working. YEA!! Today, in addition to completing the last few pieces of the plumbing, we started installing the last section of tile in the bath room, installed shelves in the bathroom closet, and worked on some drywall patching and touch up, painting and caulking.
We will continue more of the same tomorrow working to turn the home back to the owners as soon as possible. It was a good and a fun day working with Gwen and Gary. We have more team members arriving over the next few weeks so then we will be able to do even more. We are tired tonight but it’s a really good kind of tired. We feel so blessed to be able to be here.
This morning it was 53 and WINDY. We brought the big slide in on FRED because it was so windy we were afraid of damage to the topper. According to the weather people we had gusts to 50mph. We had planned to walk to church. It’s only about 2 blocks from where we are parked, but with winds steady at 25-26 and much stronger gusts one of us was afraid she might go airborne and we elected to drive the two blocks. The little Methodist church we visited was very warm and inviting. Sweet, sweet people and a very good message. It is a very small congregation, but hopefully they will grow. They invited the team to a covered dish dinner next Sunday after worship, so of course we accepted. After church we rode down to Paul’s Valley with Gwen and Gary for lunch. There is really just one restaurant we have found in Elmore City and it is closed on Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the day was spent organizing tools in the truck and getting ready to go to work tomorrow as well as working on some accounting and tax stuff. We will all meet in FRED for devotion at 7:40 in the morning so we can be about 13 miles down the road by 8:30 to meet with the coordinator for the relief efforts and then go to work. Praying for a safe and productive week.
By the way, this is the view out our windshield now (splattered bugs and all) – in case you want to compare it to our view at Maumelle Park a few days ago.
First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mama Ruby!! Celebrating 93 years today with our wishes for many more. We miss being there with you today but want you to know we have been thinking of you and hope it was a great day.
Sorry – no sunrise pictures today. Don’t blame us – it was very cloudy and we never saw the sun until we were many miles down the road from Maumelle. We hated to leave Maumelle, but really look forward to the disaster rebuild project in Elmore City. We left the park at 7:25, and stopped at a rest area down the road and had breakfast. Interesting rest area.
Can’t say we have ever seen a cemetery on the front lawn of a rest area before. We continued to follow I-40 west, crossing into Oklahoma and stopped at the Oklahoma Welcome Center. There we found our first geocache in the state of Oklahoma.
Before reaching Oklahoma City we turned south, taking state roads to Elmore City – population 697. We look forward to exploring the area and getting to know the people here.
Our team leaders Gary and Gwen greeted us when we arrived a little after 3:00 and assisted us in getting settled in the “RV park.” We are at Luster’s RV park which is in the parking lot of Luster’s Grocery Store in downtown Elmore City. The view out our windshield is a little different than back in Maumelle. Gwen and Gary invited us over for dinner and tonight we shared a wonderful evening with them having a delicious dinner and time of getting to know each other. Gary and Gwen are such a fun, sweet couple. This is going to be a great 3 weeks! Can’t wait to get started.
When we signed up for this project in Oklahoma in February a number of people thought we were a little crazy. Certainly it would be quite different from wintering in Florida. We were cautioned about how cold it gets here in February. We came prepared for cold. Warmest sweaters, long johns, coats and RV antifreeze. Well, God once again just showed us his sense of humor. It was a bright sunny, hot, 87 degrees at 5:00 tonight. I think that was about 20 degrees warmer than home. Don’t you just love it. It is predicted to be a little more seasonable tomorrow but we will remember the sense of humor.
Thank you all who are reading, following and commenting on our blog. It’s makes doing this fun, knowing you are actually reading it. Tomorrow we plan to go to church and then explore the area a little.
Today started with another beautiful sunrise. Sorry to bore you with another one but there is just no better way to start the day than watching a beautiful sunrise through the big windshield of your RV, while you do your daily Bible reading and devotion.
It was also cool because the past two days even the half of us who is the night owl has been up to see, enjoy and photograph the sunrise. It was a very nice start to a very nice day. After breakfast there was house cleaning to be done. Don’t know about the rest of you RVers but it always seems to rain when we are loading out. That means everything gets tracked in so you start the trip needing to clean. So today we cleaned inside, then washed the road grime off Fred and the truck.
Not a very interesting Friday but a nice one. After that we did a little geocaching in the park. We discovered some really nice trails and ended up hiking most of the afternoon.
It was a nice sunny day with moderate temps but the wind was still really blowing at times. Even gave us a chance to relax by the river for a few minutes and take a selfie. Really don’t enjoy all the wind we are having and we have been told to expect more wind in Oklahoma. Oh well – guess we will adjust. At least the forecast for next week in Elmore City is for moderate temperatures.
We have said previously what a nice park this is. Vicki, one of our NOMADS friends, mentioned in her comments on yesterday’s blog, the medical sites they have in this park. We had noticed those the first day we were out walking but this afternoon while talking to the people in the office we found that those sites are full hookups (unlike the remainder which have no sewer). They have an arrangement with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to reserve these sites for RVers with long term health problems requiring them to stay in the area. RVers undergoing chemo or radiation treatments and the like can have their patient advocate at the Medical Center send a letter to the Ranger requesting a site. Then for $24.00/night – $12.00 for those with National Park Access or Senior Pass – the patient and family can stay in their RV in the full hookup sites for the duration of their treatment. We were told that last year all 10 of these sites were frequently in use. What a wonderful option for RVers to have when faced with serious illness. Sitting in the comfort of your RV looking out over the Arkansas river would be a nice environment in which to recuperate. RVing is growing in popularity and with more and more people living fulltime in their rigs it would be nice to see other campgrounds start a similar policy.
There are many birds in this park along with some fat squirrels. This afternoon we had a visit from a crazy acting possum. It made some of the people in the park nervous so we took some pictures so we would have some “wild life” photos to include in the blog for you to enjoy. The possum actually made it all the way across the road alive. That’s about it for today. We will be heading out early in the morning for Elmore City, OK. Hope everyone has a great weekend.