AUGUSTA — In response to the rising Ohio River, residents of this river town have pulled together to help those forced out of their homes.
The river reached flood stage over the weekend, residents worked to pack items from their homes. On Friday, neighbors helped move others out and into temporary shelters.
Perry Day, who lives along Riverside Drive, said neighbors brought him sandbags to help keep the water from getting into his home.
“I have great neighbors,” he said. “They helped me get this together.”
Over the weekend, Imogene Shepherd at the Augusta General Store fed first responders who were out working to keep residents safe.
The Augusta Presbyterian Church has also stepped up to help residents in need.
Rev. Les Grooms said the church normally hosts a weekly soup supper at 4 p.m. on Mondays, but due to the flooding, there will also be breakfast, lunch and dinner served every day and lasting through the week.
“(Sunday) we came to church and we saw that no one was allowed down into the city because of the high water,” he said. “We knew people were being forced from their homes, so we wanted to do something to help.”
According to Grooms, that was when the idea came about to host the meals for the community.
“We knew the restaurants were closed and people weren’t home, so they can come here,” he said. “If the water recedes enough and people are able to return home, it may be cut short, but for now, it will be available until at least Friday.”
Grooms said the meal times will be 8-11 a.m. for breakfast, noon-2 p.m. for lunch, and 4-6 p.m. for dinner.
“The meals are all free,” he said. “The church is providing this with volunteer help. Anyone who wants to volunteer can just show up.”
Craig Miller of Miller Lumber Company dropped off pallets of sandbags at the Augusta Volunteer Fire Department early Sunday, with a note for residents to take what they need and let him know later. He also provided food to the first responders over the weekend.
City Council Member Jackie Hopkins spent the weekend taking photos and videos of the flooding in Augusta and posting them on Facebook to keep the public informed of river levels.
The Bracken County Health Department is also offering free tetanus shots at the Brooksville location.
“Please take all of the needed health precautions before you clean up from flood waters,” the department said.
Anyone needing a tetanus shot, can call the BCHD at 606-735-2157.