Volunteers helping flood victims pick up pieces more than a mont - WNEM TV 5

Volunteers helping flood victims pick up pieces more than a month later

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Mother nature packed quite a punch in June by flooding homes and businesses across the area.

More than a month later, storm victims are still picking up the pieces and they're not alone.

While the storms came hard and fast, the recovery has been long and slow. That recovery got a boost when President Donald Trump signed a federal disaster declaration for Bay, Midland, Isabella and Gladwin counties.

The declaration clears the way for federal funds to help in the recovery process.

However, some people are not waiting for the government to save the day.

In Hebrew, nechama means comfort and that is what one volunteer organization is providing for residents affected by the floods that hit the area more than a month ago.

"I am so thrilled and overwhelmed with the generosity of these people and donation of their time," said Jeannine Dirette, flood victim.

Dirette said she had given up thinking help would come. Her home, like so many others, was severely damaged by flood waters in June.

Volunteers from the group NECHAMA Jewish Response to Disaster rolled into her Midland County neighborhood. They helped remove molded dry wall and insulation and other debris from Dirette's home.

"They're knocking out something that would've taken us months and months to do," Dirette said.

Brittany Rubin is the group's spokesperson. They teamed up with members of Americorps to help make Dirette's house a home again.

"It's just an awesome opportunity to come out and volunteer. You know, get your hands dirty and help the community in need," Rubin said.

It's a weight clearly lifted off Dirette's shoulders. For the first time in a few weeks she has a lot to smile about.

"Their response was perfectly timed. You can't beat this," Dirette said.

The group said they plan to be in the area for another couple of weeks.

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