On March 20th severe flooding from Blacklick Creek caused the partial collapse of my home’s north basement, resulting in the immediate inundation of our basement with 7’ of water. We were terrified that further foundation collapse could occur and me, my daughter, son-in-law, three granddaughters, our dog and cat were rescued from the house by the Columbus Fire Department, who brought in boats to evacuate us through the quickly moving 3-4’ of water on the property. We were not able to grab more than essentials and a single change of clothing during the rescue.
We were taken to Asbury South United Methodists Church to wait for the Red Cross to come and assist us but when they did arrive we were facing a second evacuation as the church had started to flood. Because of Covid-19 the Red Cross could not open a shelter so we found a local Fairfield Inn that would accept us and our pets. While this was a good immediate solution, we learned that flood insurance does not cover living expenses if you cannot live in your house. We were really concerned how we were going to pay for the hotel rooms on top of all of our other immediate and ongoing expenses, as in addition to destroying everything in the basement including the furnace, most of the electrical wiring and plumbing, the flood also caused the total loss of all three of our vehicles. So no transportation, no home, nothing we could get to except the few things we were evacuated with, no way to re-enter the house at all until the foundation could be braced and limited financial resources to cope with all of that. We were very scared about our situation to say the least.
The Center for GM Human Needs heard about our situation and that of a neighbor family who also were evacuated and unable to return home, and let us know that they would pay for our hotel charges for the week and also purchased new clothing for my son-in-law and granddaughters and provided donated clothing for me and my daughter. We were very grateful for the assistance, which gave us time to reach out to family, all of whom are out of state, to get help with the additional month that we would need to be in a hotel until we could get sufficient repairs done to move back into our home. That first week was critical for us as we worked to get the situation to a manageable level and reassure my granddaughters that we would be ok.
I am grateful for and proud of the sense of community and caring demonstrated by Christine and the Center for GM Human Needs. Their generosity made all the difference for my family when we had a catastrophic loss in the midst of the global pandemic!
-Ann J, Columbus, OH