SWFL volunteers helping with disaster relief after devastating flooding in Kentucky

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Homes are flooded by Lost Creek, Ky., on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Heavy rains have caused flash flooding and mudslides as storms pound parts of central Appalachia. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says it’s some of the worst flooding in state history. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

Volunteers from Southwest Florida are in Kentucky to help with disaster relief after devastating flooding.

The Marco Patriots say they are ready to do whatever is needed to help the victims of this deadly flooding in eastern Kentucky. That includes search and rescue, providing hot meals to survivors, and having supplies like diapers, clothing, and personal hygiene products ready to hand out.

Officials say 28 people have died in the flooding, and the governor expects that number to rise as search and rescue teams continue to look for people who are still unaccounted for.

WINK News spoke to the Marco Patriots, a volunteer organization dedicated to disaster response, as they were driving up to Kentucky.

They have responded in the aftermath of major hurricanes and natural disasters, not just in Florida but across the country.

The Marco Patriots said it was too much to sit at home and watch when they heard about this disaster.

“I was just listening to the update from the governor. And he had some good news. And, you know, some bad news. There’s still a lot of power outages and water outages, you know, not a lot of cell service. So, you know, we’re looking at a disaster zone. We’re used to seeing that, so it’s not going to be pretty,” said Erin Mia Milchman. co-founder of the Marco Patriots. “I am the survivor of two major hurricanes here in Florida. And the love that was shown to us during, after Hurricane Irma inspired us to do the same. It’s American patriotism. We’re here to help our fellow man.”

Milchman said day one of the trip really showed how much the area is in need.

“A little troubling this morning to arrive and find out that they were still very, very short on drinking water. City Water is shut off. They don’t have access to any clean water. We didn’t hear about any official waters off. So we had to kind of kick into gear and try to source water for them. The closest place that we could find was a Costco three hours away,” Milchman said.

The Marco Patriots bought about 10 pallets of water bottles which is about 19,200 bottles of water.

Milchman said that was gone before 9 a.m.

The group plans on being in Kentucky for three days.

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