UCA’s Bear Boots on the Ground volunteers contributed 14 and half hours of flood clean up in a countrywide effort to aid Pocahontas, Arkansas on May 18, two weeks after the town suffered major flooding.
Dean of students Gary Roberts said groups and volunteers from all over the country came to help, while Arkansas Disaster Relief services led the clean up.
Roberts said UCA partnered with Little Rock’s minister in the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Bit Stephens, who organized a UALR group and agreed to show up that Thursday.
Roberts said when they arrived the Arkansas Disaster Relief knew what needed to be done and directed volunteers and gave them tasks.
“We basically had to tear out dry wall and insulation and remove all that. Also we got rid of household belongings that were damaged by the flood,” Roberts said.
According to the National Weather Service, a major storm swept the southwest and hit Pocahontas in the first few days of May, causing heavy rain that overflowed the Black River.
According to American Red Cross, 234 homes were affected and two homes were completely destroyed from the flooding.
“[The response has] been great,” Mayor Kary Story said. “A lot of neighboring communities came out to help, a lot of people from around the country came out to help. We are thankful. And the governors response was great. He activated the national guard quickly.”
Approximately 90 percent of those affected have began drying out their homes, Story said.
Bear Boots on the Ground is assembling another group of volunteers to continue their clean up efforts for May 25.