On August 5, 2012 the community of Dry Creek was anything but dry. Flood waters moved houses, uprooted trees and took out a bridge.
The people in Dry Creek have been rebuilding ever since. Volunteers from across the state and country have been pouring in to help.
Senator Lemar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says he heard the story of Dry Creek from Congressman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), and had to see it for himself. "People couldn't do as much for themselves. They didn't have as much money as other people do," says Alexander. "The community stepped in, saw that, took care of it, and didn't wait for the government to come do everything. I think that's very impressive."
Alexander calls it a wonderful all-American story, and likens it to the days of barn building when a town would come together to help each other. "This is an extraordinary achievement. The idea that you can take these homes and for about $5,000 each of government money, within a year after a devastating flood, you could put 25 or 28 homes back...it's incredible," says Alexander.
One of those homes is going to Judy and Bobby Hyduk. It's got three bedrooms and a little less than 900 square feet to share with a daughter and grandchildren, but it's a fresh start on 26 years of memories. "I figured our house was ruined," says Judy. "I didn't think we'd get anything like this. I'm sad we're going to tear ours down because it's been home, but we're going to get a new one. A lot better one."
The floodwaters covered the porch railing of the Hyduk's home, nearly three and a half feet off the ground. Over the last few months the Hyduks have held their house together with duct tape and sheer determination.
It's that spirit Alexander wanted to witness first-hand. "I think it's just a reminder to all of us that as important as our government services are, that our responsibility to help each other and to do things for ourselves doesn't stop here," says Alexander.
The same spirit Judy and her family have lived with since last August and that will see them in a new house in just a few weeks.