Neighbors helping neighbors during Shoals flood recovery

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MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – While our neighbors to the south are dealing with an extreme disaster, residents in northwest Alabama are beginning their recovery. Days of torrential rains in February contributed to areal flooding in Colbert County.

Nathan Estates in Muscle Shoals is one of the neighborhoods hit the worst. The city of Muscle Shoals is about to begin their first sweep through the area. They will be picking up a lifetime of memories, destroyed by the recent flood.

“When you see everything they own on the curb; it is so saddening,” resident D.C. Hallmark described. “But at the same time, these people are smiling and asking other people what can I do to help you?”

Hallmark and his family were evacuated from their home more than a week ago. They will not be able to return for six weeks at the earliest because of damage.

Down the street, the Colbert-Lauderdale Baptist Association Disaster Relief Team is hard at work. They’re removing drywall, flooring, and whatever else needs to go. It’s not very often they work disasters in their own backyard.

“This area seems to be close-knit. When disasters hit, whether it be a small one or a large one, neighbors just all pitch in on this,” said team volunteer Keith Scott. “So, that’s a tremendous relief there to have all of that extra help.”

Hallmark says he and his neighbors are blessed by the outpouring of support. It is an encouragement they can all use.

“We are going to come back. I think probably within a month we won’t even recognize this neighborhood.”

In total, emergency managers in Colbert County have received 109 reports of home damage from the recent flooding. Information is still being gathered to request assistance from FEMA.