Shirley Morris may have woken up the morning of July 19 with water on her feet, but she soon had gratitude in her heart.
Her house on Wildoak Drive in Saks was flooded with about four feet of water as heavy rains pummelled Calhoun County last week.
Morris made it out OK, with the help of Anniston firefighters, but her house and possessions weren’t so lucky.
“I’m basically starting over from scratch,” Morris said.
Morris is a long way from a return to normal, but, thanks to the disaster relief team at the Calhoun Baptist Association, she has a head start.
“They’ve torn out all the kitchen flooring,” Morris said. “Only two pieces of furniture have been saved. They’ve filled three bins so far.”
Scotty Duke, the coordinator of the disaster relief program for the Calhoun Baptist Association, said his team is doing what’s called a “mud-out,” which gets rid of wet and damaged portions of the house to make it easier to repair.
“In the mud-out process, we pull out sheetrock, tear up wet carpet and floor, and pull out all nails down to the subfloor,” Duke said.
The disaster team spent hours working, at no charge to Morris, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Morris had no flood insurance, but after the Calhoun County EMA and its director, Michael Barton, saw Morris’s situation, they got in contact with some help.
“Our role in emergency management is to connect people with the resources they need,” Barton said.
Barton said the EMA explored the local resources available and thought the disaster relief team was best equipped to help Morris.
“We determined that she obviously had a need, and didn’t appear to have insurance to fill that need,” Barton said.
Morris said she was grateful to have people so willing to help her.
“I received a call saying they had the service and would be glad to help me out,” Morris said. “I had no idea this program was in the area.”
“It’s just part of our missions at the Calhoun Baptist Association,” Duke said. “Disaster relief is just one of them.”
As disaster relief coordinator, Duke said when the team springs into action, he puts out a call to people that have registered to help. On bigger jobs, he can even ask the state for other counties to bring their teams.
“It’s a blessing to go and help people that need help,” Duke said. “To start with, I didn’t even know whose house it was. I’ve known Ms. Shirley for more than 20 years.”
Morris, who is staying with her son near the Atlanta area while the house is being worked on, said she appreciated the help of everyone who had reached out, especially her fellow members at Haven United Methodist Church.
When asked what her first thoughts were after hearing she would be getting some help at no charge, Morris had a quick response.
“God is good,” Morris said.