BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - As flood waters recede, flood victims are faced with the daunting task of saving their homes. With the help of family and friends, many residents are trying to do the cleanup on their own. However, some churches are stepping up to save homeowners thousands of dollars in clean up expenses.
The smell of mold lingers as clean up efforts continue on streets that were under water just days ago in the Tall Timbers neighborhood in Bossier Parish
As Susan Ouellette's family works to clean up, it's hard for her not to think about the moment when flood waters rushed into her home, leaving only minutes to escape.
"We all got out, but it was very scary. It was like a movie," she said.
Watermarks on her wall reveal how much water got into her home.
Now the Ouellette family is left with a soggy mess and a disheveled home.
"I still haven't wrapped my head around what happened," she said and explained her family stills has a lot to do before they can rip the carpet up and walls out. "What I need is able-bodied help, that can get this stuff out of here and get it to the street," said Ouellette.
The good news for Ouellette and the countless other people who are working as quickly as possible to clean up after the flood is help is on the way.
Southern Baptist Convention members from all over the country are coordinating disaster relief efforts at First Baptist Haughton, where Gevan Spinney is the pastor.
"They are initially bringing in some assessment teams to go door-to-door to the affected areas," said Pastor Spinney.
Starting Wednesday, a group of up to 100 volunteers from Missouri to Texas and Oklahoma will arrive to help flood victims remove debris, floors, walls, and power wash the houses. The services will be all free of charge, leaving the homes ready to be rebuilt.
"It is our commitment to Christ and the relationship we have with Jesus. He's taught us we are to love our neighbor as our self, we are to show compassion and love to those that are hurting," Pastor Spinney said. "That is what motivates these people to drive all of those miles, use vacation time they have at work, to stay at a gym on a cot, work hard hours all day long just to show them that Jesus really loves them."
The church is welcoming neighbors to join in on the effort too. If you want to help the flood victims, First Baptist Haughton will be holding a training session this Wednesday, March 16 at 7 a.m. at 105 East Washington Avenue in Haughton.
"To be able to do whatever we can to love on our neighbor and to show them we care is a blessing," Pastor Spinney said.
If you are a flood victim and want to request help from the church, you can call: 318-229-9645.