Flood victims get help building new homes from Iowa students

POSTED: 5:43 PM Nov 18 2012   UPDATED: 1:36 PM Nov 18 2012
IOWA VOLUNTEERS
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. -

The move-in day for flood victims on Dry Creek Road is quickly approaching; that's because volunteers have been busy lending a helping hand. This week, volunteers traveled across the country to help rebuild a community.

These volunteers are working hard and they're doing it about 1,000 miles away from home. "The first leg of our trip on Thursday evening was about six hours, and then Friday we went about nine hours," said volunteer Ethan Schroeder.

Their journey started at Iowa State University; now they're building new homes for flood victims on Dry Creek Road in Washington County, Tennessee.

When they got here, one home only had a foundation. "We've been able to frame it to it's current status, roof and everything in two days. Hopefully by the end of the project we'll do siding, put windows, doors, and a couple of decks on," added volunteer Andy Hodge.

Crews are spread out working on three different homes and they say it's a learning experience. "All 40 of us are construction engineers at Iowa State University. We're going through classes, all the way from freshmen to seniors," said volunteer Trevor Otto.

There are of course breaks and opportunities to get to know flood victims better. "Some have made us lunch, which we've really appreciated. Some just come and talk to you, they let you know a little bit about the flood which is insightful," added Otto.

Construction is moving quickly, pretty soon Carolyn Herrell will be able to call this house her home and that's just one thing she'll be thankful for this Thanksgiving. "I'm thankful to be getting a new house and thankful to all these volunteers," she said.

This Tuesday Appalachia Service Project will be delivering the keys to homeowner Doug Wilson. The organization says at least one more family will be able to move into their new home before Thanksgiving as well.