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Help requested as cleanup from massive flooding continues in Natoma

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Many in Natoma ask for help as they continue the cleanup effort from last Sunday’s massive flooding. The flooding destroyed property, displaced some people from their homes and left behind a mess that will take time and cooperation to clear.

Among those working to clean up from the flooding is Bill Seaman who’s lived in the small Osborne County town for 75 years. While he pushed forward, doing what he can, there’s a call for help in the community. As many are still assessing the damage, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran visited Friday, seeing the damage firsthand and speaking with people in the town about what they need.

“While it saddens, me, it also gives me an opportunity to return to Washington, D.C. on Monday to say, ‘hey, we ought to work like it works in a small town in Kansas in which people, regardless of party politics, regardless of their beliefs on some political issue, it doesn’t matter at this time,’” Moran said. “They are working to see that they, their neighbors and their community are better off tomorrow than they are today.”

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran visits Natoma, Kan. on Friday, May 21, 2021 as the town continues...
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran visits Natoma, Kan. on Friday, May 21, 2021 as the town continues cleanup efforts from massive flooding.(KWCH 12)

Many in Natoma say their items and personal belongings are gone.

“The only option we have is to ask for help from everybody else in Kansas, in the United States, anybody that’s willing to help us,” said Monica Martinez, a single mother of three whose home was flooded.

She said the community helped her family after Mother Nature caused a previous setback in August.

“I’ve been trying to get ahead in life. I work, I own my own business. I’m a cosmetologist and we do for ourselves. My kids have jobs, we work very had for what we have. We had a home hit by lightning in August. And then, the community has helped us get a grant so that we could move into this one and fix this one up so that we could have a home again,” Martinez said. “I have poured every dime I have since August into this house and now, I don’t have a place to go. I don’t have a place to take my kids and I’m not even the one that’s worst off in this community. That’s what’s said.

Martinez said to be able to restore her home, she’s looking at about $22,000 that she said she doesn’t have.

“And if I don’t have that then, where are we gonna go?” she said.

Martinez is asking for help for her family and her community.

“Anybody that’s willing to help us. We have created a GoFundMe page, it’s called “Help Rebuild out Community,” she said. “You can send food to help us feed our families. We just need whatever you can give us. Any help would be appreciated at this point.”

Funds can also be mailed to Southwind Bank PO Box 40 Natoma, KS 67651. Checks can be made payable to Natoma Disaster Fund.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is currently collecting information on flood damages that occurred last weekend in Osborne County,

The information will be collected over the phone. Impacted residents will be asked to complete an interview and will need to provide their insurance status; the estimated value of the home or personal property that was damaged; and photos that documents reported damages. To report damages residents should call 785-646-2522 or e-mail ng.ks.ksarng.list.kdem-damage-collection@mail.mil

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