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Volunteers Come From All Over To Help Canton

July 9, 2014, 5:02 PM by Mike Simundson

Volunteers Come From All Over To Help Canton
CANTON, SD -

It's now been three weeks since a wall of water washed through Canton. And while a lot of clean-up has already taken place, you can clearly see there's a lot more to be done.

Fortunately, flooded homeowners don't have to have to do all of the work alone. Volunteers are pouring in from around the region and even across the country. 

"I'm going to move it out of the way here, it's kind of in the middle," Matt Branch from Baton Rouge, LA said.

22-year-old Matt Branch has seen a lot of damage in his week and a half in South Dakota, but the Louisiana native has seen it before.

"Issac in 2012 and stuff before that. Anytime it rains in Baton Rouge, it floods,” Branch said.

Cleaning up is hard work, but Branch likes his job assignment today.

"I don't envy the guys on the bottom in the mud put, but everybody's got their place in the line and mine just happens to be to dump the stuff out," Branch said.

"The water was all the way up on the house and all the way around. Downstairs it was 48 inches at least,” flooded homeowner Kathy Holter said.

Kathy and David Holter lost two furnaces in the flood and some military memorabilia that can't be replaced. But they're thankful for what they can save.

"This is a couple of old sets of a great, great grandmother's china that were on the shelf down there. Some of it washed off and broke, but the ones on the next shelf, we can scrub with hot Clorox," Holter said.

Holter is also thankful for the volunteers who are saving her thousands of dollars in clean-up costs.

"I think the whole job, what would it be, $10, $15,000, easily. There were nine college kids that came on Saturday and carried out, well the first load's gone, already thrown. It's been a lot of man hours. Thank you Jesus, $20,000 probably, at least. They're shaking their heads, yes," Holter said.

The volunteers are getting plenty of cookies along the way, and say the hospitality of flood victims has been amazing.

"They feed us, they brought in casseroles, desserts, just about anything you can think of, they've brought in for us so the people have just showed a huge amount of love to us,” volunteer Darrell Compton said.

"We walk into a gas station and they'll say thank you for all you're doing," Branch said.

"We just praise God for these guys, because that was the next step, the clean-up. We thank them, it's just overwhelming," Holter said.

Lutheran Social Services is still looking for volunteers. They have an office set at the Canton United Methodist Church. That's where volunteers can get matched with homeowners who need work. You can call them at 605-764-2859.

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