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Helpline Center Taking Calls After Lincoln County Flood

June 25, 2014, 6:21 AM by Stephanie Gregory

Helpline Center Taking Calls After Lincoln County Flood
LINCOLN COUNTY, SD -

Phones ring off the hook at the Helpline Center. Nearly every day, 211 gets about 100 calls from people needing assistance, reporting damage, or someone asking how they can lend a helping hand after the flood that washed through KELOLAND.

"There is, obviously, a lot of flooding in the basements and sometimes it just the amount of water that's in the basements, sometimes it's even sewer, sewage backup in their basements. There is just a lot of clean up that has to be done," Helpline Center Executive Director Janet Kittams-Lalley said.

Kittams-Lalley says her office is where people in Lincoln County need to call if they have flood damage. She reports the calls to state. With that information the state hopes to make a Declaration for Individual Assistance. That would reimburse some after the disaster.

"They need to have a clear assessment of the damage that was done so when they start looking trying to tally the costs of repair and what the damage was done," Kittams-Lalley said.

She also hears from people who need assistance or wants to give assistance. She gives that information to South Dakota Volunteers Organization of Active and Disaster.

"There are a lot of homeowners in Canton and rural Lincoln Co area that are older or disabled and they don't have the physical ability to clean their basements out and to have a group of volunteers come in and help is so meaningful," Kittams-Lalley said.

"People are coming from across state lines, sometimes many states away just to come in and help someone that has been impacted by a disaster," to South Dakota Volunteers Organization of Active and Disaster president Lisa Adler said.

Adler says many people want to help out, but as this process continues she knows she will need more.

"We have seen a large number of people that have needs and also a large number of people volunteers to match with those needs, but we will need to continue to see a need for that as time goes on," Adler said.

If you even see damage done in a rural area or a public place you are asked to report that damage as well.

To report the damage, for extra help, or want to volunteer your time you are asked to call 211, or if you are outside of The Helpline Center area, you can call the toll free number 877-708-4357.

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