CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – The people of Eastern Kentucky are still reeling from last week’s devastating flooding.
At least 37 people have died and thousands of homes have been destroyed.
Calhoun County pastor and Free Will Baptist Relief Regional Director Allan Austin is no stranger to disaster relief, and this weekend, he will be headed to Kentucky to help the survivors clean up.
Austin said outside assistance is crucial for communities struggling to pick up the pieces.
“The community itself has been devastated so there are some things that they just can’t do themselves and so what we try to do is go in and help out with what they can’t do on their own,” Austin.
Austin is partnering with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office on a supply drive.
Many people’s first thought is to donate water, but Austin said the biggest need for Kentuckians is cleaning and hygiene products.
“With a flood, everything is contaminated,” Austin said. “One of the things we are pushing for right now is cleaning supplies which s bleach, Clorox crystals are huge because those are easy to transport and they make a lot more than just a gallon of bleach.”
North Florida Inland Long-Term Recovery Group Executive Director Kristy Terry said the community is always willing to help after the help they received after Hurricane Michael.
“Every time that we hear of another natural disaster, it just takes us back to those days immediately following the storm and how it was such a relief to see supplies rolling into the community from near and far and so anytime we can encourage people to help with these kinds of drives we certainly want to do that,” Terry said.
Austin said he hopes to leave for Kentucky on Sunday and expects to be there for at least two to three weeks.
If you’d like to donate any cleaning or personal hygiene items, you can drop them off at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office in Blountstown until noon Saturday.