PACIFIC, MO (KPLR) – A family from Pacific, Missouri is eager to celebrate Christmas this year after facing heartache and loss during catastrophic floods in December 2015.
The Prichard family is expecting a happier Christmas than last year. The day after Christmas 2015, the water was knee-deep in the upper rooms of the two-story home.
“We have never had 9-feet of water in our home,” said Mark Prichard. “And we’ve been flooded four other times.”
Mark wanted to knock the house down. He didn't think anything could be salvaged. The water heater and furnace were underwater, and two trees fell on the house. One tree left a gaping hole in the roof and the other wiped out an exterior support post.
“The only things we got out were the TVs and the computers and electronics,” said Patsy Prichard. “The water was coming up too fast. We couldn’t get everything out. We lost all of our clothes; we lost everything.”
Mark said the walls, floors, and water pipes had to be replaced.
For months after the flood, the family received sporadic help.
“This place doesn`t even exist on the map that they had,” Patsy said. “Cause you live in a rural area, they’re not going to find you right away.”
It was a heavy blow, according to Misty, the family’s eldest daughter.
“My mom and dad found themselves in a place that I’d never seen them before and it was a hopeless place, full of fear and dread,” she said.
It wasn't until May of this year that a referral put them in touch with Alicia Justice of the Salvation Army.
“They had some FEMA funds and they were trying to get along on their own, but they were without case management support,” Justice said.
The coordination assistance from the Salvation Army brought volunteer groups from Texas, Georgia, and Illinois to help the Prichards rebuild their home and their lives.