Countless donated items destroyed by flooding in Viroqua

Countless donated items intended for last August’s flood victims were destroyed by more recent flooding at the Viroqua County fairgrounds.

Everything from clothes to mattresses and toys were destroyed in the recent flooding.

Kay Coleman, the supervisor of the Coulee Region flood relief efforts, said volunteers have been collecting items since September, but now families will have to wait even longer to receive the help they need.

“I was just devastated,” Coleman said.

Coleman was in absolute shock yesterday when she discovered the flooding.

“We were going to open up again, because we had people waiting over the winter for their things. When we opened the doors yesterday, it was nothing but water and ice,” Coleman said.

Almost everything that was on the floor is now ruined.

“We just started cleaning and saving everything that we can. A lot of stuff we’re going to have to throw away, which is a real shame,” Coleman said.

Now that it’s getting warmer, Coleman said many families are starting to move back into their homes, but they need furniture and other items.

“A lot of this stuff was already going to go out this next month to families. Our first family, they did not have any clothes whatsoever. Everything had been washed away. All they had were the shirts on their backs,” Coleman said.

Volunteer Brandy Lee still can’t believe what happened.

“Shocked and heartbroken and scared for the families that aren’t going to get their stuff like they were promised,” Lee said.

Even though it’s a big blow, Coleman said nothing’s going to stop her from helping families affected by the flooding.

“What keeps me motivated is the people. I have met more wonderful friends and just heard their stories. We shared tears together, we essentially rebuilt their lives with them,” Coleman said.

The good news is that many of the smaller items that were on tables can be saved.

However, volunteers would like to move everything to a dry location to keep things safe.

If you would like to help clean up or if you have a building they can use, please contact Coleman on the Coulee Region Flooding Clean-up 2018 Facebook page.

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