Help Available for Flood Victims in Columbia County

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BENTON, Pa. -- Flood victims in Benton and surrounding areas are learning more about what help they can receive in the aftermath of that flooding.

Emergency officials have set up that multi-agency resource center at Benton Area High School. The center provides flood victims with access to different agencies, tools for clean up, and information.

We spoke with some of those victims who say help cannot come soon enough.

Kathy Wells is mopping up mud and muck in her caved-in basement in Stillwater in the aftermath from this week's flood.

Raging waters forced their way over the banks of Fishing Creek and through the Benton area, and now people living along the creek are left with the destruction.

"It's extremely bad," Wells said. "It's larger than the one in 2011."

Lisa Marshall lives a few miles down the road

"It's devastation," Marshall said. "We're trying to get everything out of the house. Everything that's wet has to come out, trying to disinfect it, trying to make it livable for the next couple months, just trying to deal with the devastation that this water caused."

Marshall says she and her family members who live nearby lost almost everything.

"We lost almost all the contents of the house that was just redone after the last flood."

People living in the Benton area dealing with that devastation have come to the Benton Area Middle-Senior High School to report their damages and get some help.

"The Red Cross is here, the Southern Baptist people are here, CMSU is here in case anybody has any kind of upsetting issues that they need to talk, a consoler is here to talk to them," said Columbia County Ema director Jennifer Long.

Long says this is where flood victims can come to fill out forms to get financial aid and help cleaning up.

Lisa Marshall says she received similar aide after the 2011 flood and says it can't come soon enough

"My son and I can't do this alone. We have family but you know they can't stay here and help us for a length of time but you know having resources is just a godsend."

Benton, Elk Grove, Bloomsburg, and several other areas were hit hard by flash flooding earlier this week.

That resource center is open until 6 p.m. Friday and will be open again from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The state has set up a special hotline for any flood victims looking for help at 272-200-3211.

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