Ways for Summit residents to help Louisiana flood victims | SummitDaily.com

Ways for Summit residents to help Louisiana flood victims

Kaeli Subberwal
Special to the Daily

When Corey Dinkel arrived back home to Baton Rouge on Friday, Aug. 12, he didn't know that he had flown into what would soon be a disaster zone.

"I got back in town Friday, and then Saturday was kind of a lull, it was before we knew how extensive the damage was going to be," said Dinkel. "Saturday we were blissfully unaware of what was going to happen. And then Sunday we got in the boat, I would say 9 o'clock in the morning."

Dinkel spent that whole day helping to evacuate victims and clear out flood-damaged homes. The community has banded together over their shared tragedy, establishing shelters in churches and gymnasiums and taking family and friends into their homes. Dinkel and his company have helped to clean out and gut over 70 damaged homes and volunteers have tried to provide food, clothing and supplies to the flood victims.

However, recovery has been made more difficult by the long reach of the water. Much of the time, Dinkel explained, disasters affect a third or a quarter of the people in an area; with this deluge, there are more people who have been affected than who have not. Therefore, the turnout of volunteers is low; many people do not have the resources to help themselves, much less their neighbors.

As a result, the suffering people of Louisiana need help from outside sources. Randy Goldich, Dinkel's wife's uncle and a Louisianan with ties in Silverthorne, has been working to raise awareness and donations for the flood victims. Retail locations across the flood area have been depleted, and supplies are badly needed. In Summit County, the Father Dyer United Methodist Church is accepting donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which has been sending cleanup buckets to the affected areas. Likewise, St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church is encouraging donations to the Episcopal Relief and Development organization, either through the church or to the organization directly. The survivors have compiled an Amazon wishlist of items that they need to be donated.

Speaking only two weeks after witnessing the floods, Dinkel said, "It was one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life, the children and the mothers that were affected were absolutely… it was horrible to see."