BARBERTON — For the first time since Wednesday’s flooding in Barberton, the water has receded enough to start the massive cleanup.
Church volunteers from Mission USA were on 14th Street to help water-logged and weary residents. The Barberton-based group helps victims of natural disasters around the world and now, they’re helping neighbors in their own backyard.
Whatever could not be cleaned was thrown away. Mission USA Team Leader Sandy Muffet said the volunteers were from The Chapel and Grace Church.
“We’re just helping clean out houses and serve food today, and just keep helping as much as we can and do whatever we can,” Muffet added.
For Barbara Coburn, the help is much needed.
“Their youth group was out here and they’ve taken a big burden out by doing it as quickly as they did. Because I have emphysema and the fumes and everything from mold starting to grow would really force us out of our home,” she said.
Three days since the torrential rains, water is still being pumped out of the basement of the Slovene Center.
Inside it’s a muddy mess. Volunteers were mopping the floors and cleaning anything that came in contact with the flood waters.
Trustee Bob Hauser hopes the private club can be open to its members soon, but the bowling alley next to it sustained far more water damage.
“The last time we had a flood in here was probably $50,000 worth of damage. We have to wait and see if the wood buckles and if so, how much, and then we have to call in the experts to put it back together. I don’t know if we can really afford to do that this time,” Trustee Hauser said.
But, he is grateful for the help from a group whose mission it is to help. The Mission USA Volunteers plan to be back in the same area Sunday afternoon.