As the clean up continues, volunteers continue to help - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

As the clean up continues, volunteers continue to help


PINE ISLAND, MN (KTTC-DT) -- As the clean up continues, residents in Pine Island aren't necessarily going about it alone. Those cleaning up have had an outpouring of support from both friends and strangers since the clean up has started.

Elynor Monosmith has been through it all.

Elynor Monosmith says, "Hurricanes in Florida and earthquakes in California. Grew up in the Midwest and used to tornadoes. And well, we've never had anything like this."

Last week, sandbags couldn't hold back the swelling water, and it rushed into her backyard, bursting into the basement of her house.

Elynor Monosmith says, "There was water know....three directions at us."

Elynor and her husband John have lived in Pine Island for over 30 years. Some of the memories of those years, and beyond, have managed to been saved, and are now sitting in their garage.

Elynor Monosmith says, "This is all salvageable."

The clean up that the Monosmiths are doing is similar all over Pine Island. Most work got started over the weekend, but plenty remains. And Elynor can't believe the outpouring of support.

Elynor Monosmith says, "I'm overwhelmed with the help that we had. And everybody that's helped out has had such a great sense of humor. We've had at least 70 volunteers around here at one point or another."

Minnesota United Methodist Disaster Response Team are just some of those volunteers. They come from all over Minnesota to assist in cleaning up after disasters. They've been in Pine Island since the weekend. Monday morning, they were at the Monosmiths.

Gary Klason, with the Minnesota United Methodist Disaster Response Team, says, "The water went down fast so we could come in fairly soon and start cleaning it up. But it's mainly your typical flooding where the basements are flooded and everything is basically gone."

Once the basement is cleaned out, the team power washes and bleaches to prevent any mold. They'll then bring in dehumidifiers and fans to dry it out.

Gary Klason says, "It helps them take some of the stress off them and helps them get back to living in their house and being as much towards normal."

The Minnesota United Methodist Disaster Response Team will continue to work on houses. For them, Elynor is grateful.

Elynor Monosmith says, "It just fills your heart with a lot of love for everybody that's helped out."

If you want to help, you can go to the United Way of Olmsted county's website. We have a link on our Links page. Monetary donations are being accepted at the Red Cross and Salvation Army. The need for help and just where it's needed will be assessed as the week moves on.

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