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Problem Solvers: WWII vet and wife need help getting back into home after floods

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 22:14:48-04

GROVE, Okla. — A 93-year-old WWII veteran and his wife are desperate to move back into their home after it flooded a year ago.

The home sits on Grand Lake and has been sitting unfinished since spring of 2019.

Claud and Loula Lamb lived in the home for 30 years before they were forced to leave by floodwaters.

“It started coming up fast and we could just barely make it out," Claud said. "We got out of here just with clothes that we had on our back.”

As the water poured into their home, the Lamb’s didn’t have much time to grab many belongings and made it out with a few pictures, their vehicles and some clothes.

“What were we going to do. You know, you don't know because everything you have is in the house,” Loula said.

Mary Richardson is the Lamb’s case worker with Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma Disaster Relief and finally got involved in their case back in February.

“And as we came to look at the property, there hadn't really been any progress made," Richardson said. "It was still moldy and wet, and they were trying to start to tear out and do muck out, but progress hadn't been made.”

The elderly couple only received a little over $8,000 from FEMA to repair the damage to their home.

That money has gone toward the little bit of clean up that has been done and the Lamb’s rent.

Now, Catholic Charities needs donations for contractors to finish the job.

Richardson said to complete everything, they need close to $42,000 and donated appliances to finally put the lambs back in their home.

“The only way that we're going to keep the forward progress, and that's my mission is just to keep forward progress for the lambs, is to have funding so we can continue to pay contractors,” Richardson said.

Unfortunately, because of coronavirus, the CCEOK Disaster Relief needs to hire contractors instead of using volunteers to get the work done.

Typically, they have plenty of materials and volunteers to make progress, but this year, it has been difficult.

Out of their home for nearly a year now, Claud and Loula aren’t sure they’ll ever be able to move back in.

“30 years and we've got this here for family, and we've raised them all here. They would come up here on weekends, and everything," Claud said. "And this is the only home that we've ever had. We've been married 69 years.”

Claud is a WWII veteran who served in the Navy.

His health is declining and Richardson wants to get him back in his home sooner rather than later.

“He served this country and I'm honored to serve him. I really would like to help get him back in his home, because that is all he wants. That's all he and his wife wants is to be back in their home," Richardson said. "And so anything I can do to keep moving forward to make that happen. I would love to serve them now.”

The appeals process from FEMA has run out and the couple is on a limited income.

That means, outside of donations, they don’t really have any other options.

If you'd like to help, here are some ways to do that:

(If making a donation please include Claud Lamb's name in the memo)

To DONATE to Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma CLICK HERE



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