Neighbors still recovering after flood


GIBSON CITY, Ill. (WCIA) – It was an emotional day as people went through their belongings and cleared out their homes, not knowing when or if they would ever be back.

“”Hopefully we might be displaced for like 5 or 6 months,” Bruce Arnette, one of the many displaced from his home, said.

After a rain that wouldn’t stop, water in Gibson City and surrounding areas kept rising.

“It was scary because the water was coming from every direction,” Mary Neamon, another person displaced, said.

People living and working there couldn’t do anything about it.

“Water coming from all the drain and it’s faster than you could ever imagine and it just keep coming, keep coming,” Paul Patel, owner and manager of the Dairy Queen, said.

Now, friends, family and even strangers are helping pick each other up.

Amber Arnette is the daughter of Bruce. She is taking in not only her father, but one of his neighbors to live with them.

“It’s a little cramped, but we’re taking them in, and they’re going to stay with us as long as they need to,” Arnette said.

But it’s not just the people of Gibson City coming out to help. People from across the country are rolling up their sleeves, packing their cars, and driving hours into town to help these victims

“My heart goes out to you guys,” Leslie Howard said.

Howard grew up in Ludlow, Illinois, but now lives in Iowa. She knows what it feels like to lose everything.

“My husband and I went through a really bad flood in 2008. We were one of the people who lost their home and everything in it,” she said.

That’s why she’s making the hours long drive with needed supplies to help.

“We want to lend a hand when we can, and this is a way that we can, and we show our support and our love to the community,” she said.

Howard said they will be in Gibson City by 8 on Saturday morning. She said they will have things like canned and dried food, toiletries and other necessities.

Ford County Emergency Management was doing assessments all day Sunday. They said debris placed on easement will be removed starting at noon Monday.

Anyone who wants to donate items can drop them off at Gibson City Bible Church Monday – Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. The only items accepted are leaf rakes, flat shovels, and fans.

If you are in need of the following items, they will be available for pick up at the Gibson City Bible Church Monday and Wednesday between 1-4 pm.

  • -5-gallon buckets of cleaning supplies
  • -Bleach
  • -Empty 5-gallon buckets
  • -Trash bags
  • -Shovels, rakes, brooms
  • -Health Kits (towels, toiletry items)
  • -Bottled water

The Red Cross Shelter has moved to the Gibson City Bible Church.

A multi-agency resource center will open Saturday, August 21st. Community meals will be available at the Gibson City American Legion. Lunch will start at 12 p.m. and dinner at 4 p.m.

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