See how these organizations are helping Wilmington residents

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“This neighborhood looks a lot different than right after the flood. It looked like a ware zone.,” Said Toby French, DEVOAD Chairman. “You know, cars were flooded, houses were damaged. There were a lot of problems.”

WILMINGTON (DE) BY GEORGE SHEA, PHOTOJOURNALIST: It was just five weeks ago when Hurricane Ida swept through Wilmington leaving homes and private properties destroyed in it’s wake.

More than 200 households were rescued during the course of the storm and luckily, no deaths occurred as a result of Ida’s devastating effects. Flash floods from the Brandywine River reached levels that has not been seen in over 100 years.

In response to the devastation, the Delaware Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (DEVOAD) stepped up to the plate to help the communities affected by the storm. The VOADs role is to bring organizations together and enable them to understand each other and work together during times of disaster preparedness, response, relief and recovery.

“This neighborhood looks a lot different than right after the flood. It looked like a ware zone.,” Said Toby French, DEVOAD Chairman. “You know, cars were flooded, houses were damaged. There were a lot of problems.”

“Our group (DEVOAD) and the Red Cross responded right away. … and after a few days, the Salvation Army took over, and we also had Team Rubicon and what they do is what’s called muck outs.,” Said Toby French, Chairman of DEVOAD. “They go in and remove all the damaged furniture, appliances, and dry wall, and what they will do is cut that out, tear it out, so they did about 34 homes.”

Their not the only ones helping with this effort. Some of the organizations include the American Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army and The Lions Club. Delaware Newsline was able to catch up to Daniel Elkins with the Bellefonte Lions Club who was actively working on N. Heald Street.

“The Lions Club International foundation heard about what had happened here in the community due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida, applied for a $10 thousand dollar grant. The foundation approved it within 48 hours and have sent the supplies here to be able to distribute to the families.,” Elkins said.

Elkins added, “Anytime there’s a disaster like this there’s a lot of help and support on the front end, people helping with the initial clean up, but it’s the long term, continual wrap around support that these communities needs.

Last week, we were in the houses um with sledge hammers and power tools and knocking out the black mold that has grew up. So today, The Lions are here and walking through the community, working with the Delaware Volunteer organization (DEVOAD) and United Way, in order to distribute boxes of supplies to families in need.

Um Today, we are distributing supplies for the families that don’t have electricity, that don’t have the gas turned on, so we are here doing everything we can from bringing in cleaning supplies to help clean their houses to food, for things for the children to do, because many of them have lost everything that they own. So we are attempting to provide just enough to get them to the next day until we can bring them some more supplies.

So there’s $10 thousand dollars that is being spent out. It is buying 1095 masks, it is buying gloves for the work crews and to provide for the continuation of support. We are now taking a list of each individual families needs and seeing if we can meet those needs one on one with those supplies.”

But Elkins said There is never enough volunteers when it comes to disaster relief.

“There is never enough volunteers when it comes to disaster relief. A lot of people will see the initial flooding and will want to come and help out, but this is the type of thing that there will be a need for volunteers for the next six months, the next year.

The Delaware Volunteer organizations, DEVOAD have been out here almost every day doing something, trying to do something for the community,” Elkins added. “So please, if you are looking to help out, look up DEVOAD on Facebook, or the Bellefonte Lions Club and please get in touch so we can help the communities in need.”

George Shea is a Delaware Newsline Digital Broadcast Journalist and has an emphasis on crime and social justice. Contact him at gshea@delawarenewsline.com. Follow him on Twitter @denewsline. Follow Delaware Newsline on Facebook for the latest breaking news stories.

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Delaware Newsline is a digital Delaware News Organization that provides local and national breaking news content to its Delaware and U.S. audience, by utilizing multiple platforms including web, social media, and video.

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