Our volunteer teams were busy over the weekend continuing to provide relief in the areas most impacted by the recent flooding in the Appalachia region of the state. Although we are hearing on the news that many of the water systems are back online, the infrastructure that carries that water to homes, has been wiped out. Officials in the area have told us that some communities may be several months to possibly even years before the systems are back up and running like they were before the flooding.
Currently, WaterStep Water on Wheels (WOW) Carts have been set up in the communities of Hazard, Buckhorn, and Mayking. The WOW Cart is a mini-water treatment plant on wheels that is designed to provide safe water, disinfection and power in disaster situations. WaterStep volunteer, Isabell Isenhart, is pictured above with her daughters setting up the WOW Cart at the HomePlace Community Center in Hazard. Isabell said, “The people are struggling and it is devastating around here. They are thankful for the current sunshine and for all the people here to help.” She went on to say, “It is so moving to see people from all walks of life come together and work in unity to bring relief to these hurting people.”
The WOW Carts will provide potable water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, showering and for general distribution to the public. The water from the Buckhorn site was tested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday and we were given the green light, so that WOW Cart (pictured above) is fully operational and providing up to 10,000 gallons of safe water to the community each day.
The WOW Cart site in Hazard has submitted their water sample to the EPA today and expect to be fully operational tomorrow. We are working alongside Kentucky Public Health to get their cart operational in Mayking. We hope to have it up and running by the end of the week.
WaterStep continues to get requests for help and we need to build more WOW Carts. Please consider making a donation to our disaster relief fund today!