Gibson City organizations helping out their neighbors


GIBSON CITY, Ill. (WCIA) – Gibson City is still working to recover after historic flooding hammered the town more than a month ago. Many people had water fill up their basements. So, whatever was down there was likely ruined. Others had water into their upstairs living areas, like the kitchen and living room.

On the back roads of Gibson City is the Kearfotts house sitting right near a lake.

“When we get heavy rain, we always get water that runs between our house and the neighbors’ house,” Dan Kearfott said.

But on August 12th it was different.

“It had come up another 14 inches or so and got at least 3 inches above all of the first floor of the house,” he said.

He and his family had to basically gut the home. The place where his 2 daughters grew up.

“There’s been a lot of support which helps, but it’s still really hard having to tear up the home you grew up in,” Shelbie Kearfott, his daughter, said.

“It brings a lot of emotions because our parents worked so hard to build this house, and it didn’t take long to destroy it,” Danielle Brown, his daughter, said.

Their story isn’t the only one like it in Ford County. Dozens of people were displaced after the flood. That’s why groups like the Gibson City Rotary Club and Lions Club are stepping up to help

Susie Tongate is with the Rotary Club. She said they’re using disaster relief grant money to help replace appliances in people’s homes.

“There’s a lot of homes still that have a lot of rebuilding to do, but we need to get the washers, the dryers, and people, so they’re not using coolers and stuff in their homes right now,” Tongate said.

Many homes had 5 feet of water or more inside. Jerry Minion is a member of the local Lions Club. He said seeing that amount of flooding, he knew there would be a great need.

“There’s not enough money to go around to make everybody whole again. So, we have to decide who can afford to get loans, and who cannot,” Minion said.

Kearfott said even though the flood was devastating, it brought out the best in people.

“The generosity of the people was overwhelming. It really restored your faith in humanity to be honest with you,” Kearfott said.

They started delivering large appliances last week and will continue into this week. They don’t have an infinite amount of money or appliances. So, it’s based on those in the most need.

They need volunteers and manpower to help deliver these appliances to people. If you would like to help, visit their Facebook page, or contact Tongate at 309-825-0311.

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