SWFL Marco Patriots help with flooding devastation in Kentucky

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Paul Dolan
The Marco Patriots logo on the side of their trailer. (CREDIT: WINK News)

The search continues for those who are missing after the devastation in Kentucky as the state deals with severe flooding leaving at least 19 people dead.

The Kentucky National Guard tweeted out photos of a flight crew headed to the area with food and water to help those in desperate need.

More help is on the way courtesy of the Marco Patriots from Southwest Florida. Friday night they’re driving to Kentucky to help in any way they can.

WINK News met with part of the Marco Patriots team Friday afternoon off I-75 and spoke with them for a little bit. There were eager to get back on the interstate and head to eastern Kentucky to start helping victims of the deadly flood.

The flooding is historic and deadly. The floodwaters destroying homes, roadways, and even bridges. To make matters worse, people are still unaccounted for.

What the Marco Patriots are bringing to Kentucky to help with the flooding. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“I have received notice that they have located the bodies of those four children,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said. “And I know will be contacting their parents. Means we’ve got at least six dead children.”

Local outlets report the parents of the four children tried hanging on to them. Neighbors even tried throwing them a rope to save them, but it wasn’t enough.

“This is a disaster,” said Marco Patriots board member and volunteer, Matt Melican. “And we’re prepared for that… do the best we can do.”

Melican and the Marco Patriots felt a calling for help. They’ve responded to the aftermath of major hurricanes and natural disasters not just in Florida but across the country. “We kind of identified that (Hazard) as ground-zero,” Melican said. “That’s where we’re going to focus on to begin with.”

They’re heading to Hazard, Kentucky one of the hardest hit areas where they’ll be cooking warm meals using equipment packed away in a trailer.

Supplies the Marco Patriots are bringing to Kentucky. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“We have the ability to feed up to say 1,000 people a day if we push it to our maximum,” Melican said. And eastern Kentuckians will need the help. Many lost everything as their neighbor’s homes washed away.

“My mom and I bought that house together and I’d hate to lose it,” said flooding victim Joyce Brewer. “But right now, it’s not looking like we’re going to be able to save it.”

So, in addition to warm meals, Marco Patriots will have supplies ready to hand out.

“Diapers, personal hygiene products, paper products,” Melican said. “We’re going to address diapers and baby needs.”

And they have the capabilities to help in other ways, including cleaning roadway debris. “We’ll be helpful however we can be,” Melican said.

Friday night they’ll be on the road and expect to get to eastern Kentucky Saturday evening. They’ll have 10 volunteers helping for the three days they’ll spend over there.

Click here to find out more information about the Marco Patriots and how they’re helping.

Click here to find out how you can help in connection with the American Red Cross.

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