Help is available for flood cleanupBuckets of cleaning supplies and warm showers are poised to help in flood cleanup this week.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Buckets of cleaning supplies and warm showers are poised to help in flood cleanup this week.
A truck filled with “flood buckets” stopped at Faith United Methodist Church about 8 a.m. Tuesday. Church members and a youth missions team from Eureka, Wis., unloaded and stacked 500 buckets in the church.
The group of 10 middle school youth and four adults came to Superior to help at Harbor House Crisis Shelters. Instead, they stacked buckets.
“This isn’t what we planned but who cares,” said Pastor Anita Genrich. ”We’re here to serve.”
The re-sealable buckets, which are free to anyone in need, contain laundry detergent, dish soap, sponges, scouring pads, disposable gloves, dust masks, a clothes line and clothespins, trash bags, insect repellant and more. United Methodist Committee on Relief provided the buckets. By noon Tuesday, 30 were handed out already.
“The reason we’re getting these out is because people need them,” said Rev. Barb Certa-Werner of Faith United Methodist. Driving around Superior, she has seen lawns piled high with flood-damaged items.
“I can’t guess how many people were affected,” she said. But the buckets can help aid in clean-up. “It’s not a big thing, but it’s something to help people in need.”
Certa-Werner said the parsonage flooded with about three to four inches of water, so she understands the importance of cleaning up.
“Worms came into my house,” she said. “We had clay. We had bugs. We had dirt clumps and grass.”
The buckets are available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the church, 1531 Hughitt Ave. An intern from the University of Wisconsin-Superior will also be on hand to help direct people in need to other resources in the community.
The Duluth Area Family YMCA and the Superior Douglas County YMCA are offering free showers to flood victims and their families.
“It’s the least we can do; we can offer free cleanup,” said Mike Kraft, executive director of the Superior-Douglas County YMCA. He said people can stop by the front desk at 9 N. 21st St. and let the staff know they are in need of a shower. People are encouraged to bring their own towels, but the YMCA does have towels available for use.
“Any way we can help,” Kraft said.
Contact the Duluth Area Family YMCA at (218) 722-4745 or the Superior YMCA at (715) 392-5611 for more information.
Cleaning buckets, mops and hygiene packages will also be available at Catholic Community Services, 1416 Cumming Ave., later in the week, according to Director Terry Hendricks. He said staff also are working with a number of dislocated people in need of assistance. Friday, three people dropped by for help. Monday, it had turned into a steady stream.
“People should come for assistance,” Hendricks said, and not feel bad about it. “That’s what we’re here for. We’ll help as much as we can.”
Anyone with questions about their housing rights, either renters or homeowners, can get straight answers from the Housing Counseling Program. Catholic Community Services is taking donations of cash and seeking volunteers. For information, call (715) 394-6617.
The nonprofit agency covers 16 counties in northern Wisconsin. Since 2000, it has headed recovery efforts following four tornadoes and three floods.
“Almost every year in northern Wisconsin we have natural disasters like this,” Hendricks said, and the big flood of requests for assistance usually starts about three to four weeks following the event. Catholic Community Services is focused on long-term recovery.
A 2012 Long-Term Flood Recovery Fund has been set up at M&I Bank in Superior with a large donation from a local business, according to Kathi Madsen, executive director of the United Way of Superior-Douglas County.
“Other people are encouraged and welcomed to donate but need to remember that people need immediate assistance as well,” she said.
In addition to reporting damage on the city website, www.ci.superior.wi.us, if people still need help with cleanup they can register at VolunteerDuluth.org and click on the “Get Help” button, or they can register on Unitedwayduluth.org to “Get Help” or “Give Help” by volunteering.