"Community" Has New Meaning For Flood Victims - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/01/04

"Community" Has New Meaning For Flood Victims

Dozens of South Mississippi families say they are slowly piecing their lives back together after being hit by a devastating flood earlier this year.

In March, the Big Bay Lake dam broke, sending 3.5 gallons of water gushing into parts of Lamar and Marion counties. Residents helplessly watched their homes, cars, and everything they own wash away.

When the dam broke, hearts opened as donations for Lamar and Marion County flood victims poured into the Greenville Baptist Church gymnasium.

"It was slammed full of clothes, hanging clothes, clothes on tables," said church member Angela Bryant.

Church members say clothes, furniture, and toys were donated from Mississippi and beyond.

"They just clean out everything they own in a storage and just send it on down here. We take it and we give it to whoever needs it or what they need," said Anna Kelly.

The initial shock of what some in Lamar County call a"bad dream" has subsided but painful reminders still linger.

"I know its hard for them because they're having to put pieces back together as far as worldly things," said Bryant.

"Their houses and things that meant a lot to them like pictures but the Lord saved lives."

Volunteers say although they've cried along with neighbors who've lost everything, the dam break did not break the spirit of this community.

"You can see people getting themselves back together, their homes back together. They're still in a lot of need for prayer. We ask everybody to continue praying for them because prayer changes things," Bryant said. 

Members of Greenville Baptist plan to help as long as help is needed. Donations to the flood victims has allowed the church to help more than 70 families with $26,000 in food, and gift certificates for furniture.

The church has received so many clothes that member are now giving some of them to other charities.

by Danielle Thomas

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