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Volunteers Need Lodging To Rebuild Flood-Damaged Homes

KUT Public Radio
Flood damaged home from May 2015.

Thousands of volunteers over the last nine months have helped clean up more than 800 Central Texas homes that were flooded last year. Now hundreds more volunteers are coming in from all over the country to help with reconstruction – and local officials need places for them to stay.  

“It’s been a challenge finding housing – reasonable housing or in-kind housing for these teams coming in, generally eight to 25 people in a group," said James Gabriel, Executive Director of the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team. 
The group is asking for dorm rooms, apartments, homes and RVs with hookups – anyplace where the volunteers can be comfortable.  Teams will start arriving the first of March and it could take several months or even years to finish the task of rebuilding the areas flooded in Hays, Blanco, Caldwell and Guadalupe Counties. 
“The challenge is that we have two separate disasters in five months. A lot of the homes that need our assistance and have unmet needs were damaged in both of these disasters," he said.
The first flood hit Memorial Day; the second hit some of the same areas at the end of October. 
The May flood took the lives of a dozen people along the Blanco River.  Two children are still missing. 

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.