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Problem Solvers: Webbers Falls family finally back home after 2019 floods

Photos: Massive flooding in Oklahoma
Posted at 5:09 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 21:11:19-04

WEBBERS FALLS, Okla. — The Casinger family in Webbers Falls is finally moving back into their home after the 2019 floods.

2 Works for You shared their heartbreaking story back in December as they recounted loosing everything.

READ MORE: Problem Solvers: Flood victims living in camper for Christmas

Family matriarch Sue Casinger was full of grief and hope as she told us that they would find a way to rebuild. Now, more than a year later, that hope is here.

“I walked in and seen these cabinets and, suddenly, [crying] it was like you never imagined. And then when the living room started going together, it was just like a dream,” said Sue as she stood in her repaired home.

Her son, Charles, says the experience was life changing.

“To me, you never know what you have lost until you have lost everything. And then to get to see it all building back and get to that final step in the process,” he said.

Back in December the floors of the home were torn out, the walls rotting and the kitchen in shambles.

The Casinger’s were walking on makeshift boards and piers to get from one room to another.

Surprisingly, the family was turned down by the Federal Emergency Management Agency 11 times.

They slowly collected small donations from good Samaritans here and there to fix little things, but couldn’t afford to rebuild.

It wasn’t until the Muskogee County Disaster Recovery Committee got involved that the family finally had hope.

“You know, my hat's off to the emergency management team. I mean a lot of people don't realize, hey, what does emergency management do? You know, they go far and beyond the call of duty,” Charles said.

The family still has some clean up to do and small repairs to make inside the home, as well as find new furniture, but say their biggest nightmare is over with.

Mary Hicks is their case manager and told the 2 Works for You Problem Solvers that the road to recovery was already a long one before COVID-19.

Hicks says the pandemic has slowed progress and made rebuilding more expensive.

Nonprofit’s can no longer rely on volunteers to help, but rather have to pay contractors to finish the repairs.

The committee still has more than one third of their flood victim’s list waiting for help.

A hard reminder that the flood of 2019 still isn’t over for many families in Green Country.

If you drive down Main Street in Webbers Falls, the damage can still be seen in the homes and buildings in town.

The Casinger's are counting their blessings now and planning to make up for the holiday they couldn’t spend in their own home.

“Oh man, I tell you what, my oldest son, he says 'Mommy, you better have them hot rolls and then them noodles on that table.' I said, 'They will be,'” Sue said.

The Muskogee County Disaster Recovery Committee helps flood victims in Muskogee, Wagoner and Cherokee counties. If you’d like to help, click here.

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