“They have lost everything”: Southern Arizona Red Cross volunteers help flood victims in Kentucky

Southern Arizona Red Cross volunteers help flood victims
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 9:30 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Roaring rivers have receded, revealing absolute devastation. At least 37 people are dead and two are still missing after historic flooding swept across eastern Kentucky.

Nearly a dozen Southern Arizona Red Cross volunteers rose to the occasion, bringing hope and humanity to those left without a home. Meanwhile, many more are supporting efforts virtually.

“[The water] came up so fast and so hard that mobile homes and houses were swept all the way off their foundations,” said Terry Parrott, a local Red Cross volunteer.

Parrott met with KOLD News 13 via Zoom on Wednesday.

“Right now, I am in a gymnasium in an elementary school here in Pikeville,” he said.

Over the past week, Parrott has been assessing the damage.

“It’s overwhelming,” he said. “The flood was so powerful. It picked up a school bus and took it about a mile down the road. It’s now wedged between two trees in a creek bed.”

Heavy rain snuck up on families. Terry spoke with a man whose house started to move in the middle of the night.

“He managed to get out of bed, but could not get his wife,” said Parrott. “His wife drowned in it, his daughter is still missing. He did not even attend [his wife’s] funeral because he was in the hospital. Tears came to his eyes as he told me the story.”

29-year-old Nancy Cundiff has not been found.

Hundreds of volunteers from across the nation are now in Kentucky, offering food, water, labor, medical and financial aid, and counseling.

Almost no one had flood insurance.

“They have talked to their insurance company and they have found out that, ‘You don’t have anything to cover this,’” said Parrott. “So, literally they have lost everything.”

The state was struck by disaster twice in one year. Parrott’s wife, who is also a Southern Arizona Red Cross volunteer, was in Kentucky eight months ago for tornado relief.

What takes him aback is the resilience and kindness shown by those left with nothing. Parrott says neighbors are helping one another, and providing cold water and a warm welcome to volunteers.

“I think we just need to rally around whoever is in trouble around our region; being the United States, and help out,” said Parrott. “Because you could be next.”

For information on how you can help, CLICK HERE.

Flood damage in southeastern Kentucky
Flood damage in southeastern Kentucky(Terry Parrott)
Flood damage in southeastern Kentucky
Flood damage in southeastern Kentucky(Terry Parrott)
Flood damage in southeastern Kentucky
Flood damage in southeastern Kentucky(Terry Parrott)

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