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Neighbors Help Neighbors In Time Of Need

August 12, 2010, 10:02 PM by Jon Wilson

Neighbors Help Neighbors In Time Of Need
LINCOLN COUNTY, SD - While parts of KELOLAND prepare for more heavy rain and more flooding, a portion of Lincoln County could be vulnerable to rising water again.

As he picks through the pieces of what's left of his life, Mark Long now understands what it means when someone loses it all.

"I was blessed that the house was paid for, the vehicles were paid for but that's my equity.  That's what I worked for.  That was my retirement.  That was everything I owned," Long said.

Two weeks ago, four to five inches rain left much of Lincoln County under water, including many of the homes along Highway 11 near Shindler.  The Long family scrambled to save what he could, while rescuers saved his wife. Everything that was left inside the house now fills a dumpster outside and even some of the things that were saved may still have to be thrown away.

"A lot of the clothes were washed and came out good, smelling good, and the stink is starting to come back on them now," Long said.

That smell has settled into the house too. The carpets are still soaked, and a layer of silt covers the areas where the dirty water once stood.

"My house is virtually worthless.  That would be what I use to rebuild somewhere else and now that's gone," Long said.

The giant to-do list may be shrinking, but a nearby list of needs keeps getting longer.

"You know it's nice when we can all be together but everybody is running different directions trying to accomplish what they can," Long said.

Despite their losses, the Longs are humbled by all the support they've received so far.

"It's really amazing that the people that are helping in so many ways are not exactly that well-off to begin with," Long said.

Even fellow flood victims are doing what they can to assist their neighbors in need.

"I can't even begin to say how much it's appreciated.  I mean words wouldn't even describe it how businesses and people have stepped up to the plate and helped each other out," Long said.

The Longs have been living in a hotel and with family members since the floods hit two weeks ago. There will be a benefit for the Long Family at the Pizza Ranch in Tea this Monday.

One of Long's neighbors was also hit hard by flooding. Arnie Van Voorst is a plumber and handyman and lost most of his tools and appliances in the flood.  There will be a benefit for the Van Voorst family next Saturday in Granite, Iowa, near Larchwood.

The Grandview Covenant Church will host the pancake feed, bake sale and silent auction at the Granite Threshing Bee Grounds from 9 a.m. until noon.

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