New organization hopes to help flood victims - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New organization hopes to help flood victims

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July 26, 2005

Worth County-- More than two weeks later and people in Sylvester are still trying to rebuild. "I've seen it bad but not this bad," says flood victim Jay Johnson.

Flash flooding spurred by Hurricane Dennis damaged more than 100 homes in Worth County including Jay Johnson's home on Young Street. "I had to go around and the water was just moving like it was a river," says Johnson. It will be an expensive clean-up process for him and his family. "Rough, we're working on it now. We started on it today, you know redoing the floors," says Johnson.

It's a process that requires some financial assistance. "Oh yeah, help on the way you know," says Johnson. The Open Door Recovery Network is made up of ministers and volunteers who want to provide assistance where GEMA and the Small Business Administration left off.

"Then we will be able to give them some help with this organization," says Chairman Dr. Thomas Latimer. Help like clothing, furniture, and financial assistance to help repair their homes.

"Some of these people have very low incomes. They just don't have any way to provide these things and to fix their places up," says Latimer. But for a full recovery, it'll take a community effort. "All of us are involved. It's not just the victims. They're all citizens of the community and they need our help," says Latimer.

Victims need to know that they're not going through it alone. "It's teaching us to pray more, be aware. God is just waking us up," says Johnson. It's a tremendous wake up, but they do have a backup plan at an organization with an open door.

Any victims who need assistance or anyone interested in volunteering or donating should call the Open Door Recovery Network at 229-776-3358. Donations can be sent to Open Door Recovery Network, P.O. Box 118, Sylvester, GA 31791. SBA will also remain in Sylvester at the fire department to process loan applications through Friday, July 29th.

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