Today, we bring you an inspiring tale of resilience and community support following the recent flash flooding that wreaked havoc in the Cicero, Stickney, Berwyn, and Austin areas of Chicago.
At the beginning of July, the Chicago area faced an unexpected and severe flash flood, with a staggering 0.5 inches of rain falling every 10 minutes. The impact was devastating, leaving thousands of people grappling with the aftermath of major flooding in their homes and neighborhoods.
An estimated 15,000 individuals were affected by this natural disaster, with homes inundated and streets rendered impassable. The devastation was widespread, with approximately 4,600 homes completely destroyed by the floodwaters.
The resource center, which was made possible by the Town of Cicero’s sponsorship, saw an overwhelming turnout, with between 3,000 to 5,000 families seeking assistance. The spirit of unity and compassion was evident as neighbors and volunteers worked hand in hand to help their fellow community members.
In the face of such adversity, the communities came together to extend a helping hand to those in need. The Town of Cicero, Stickney, and Berwyn, along with the Austin area in Chicago, united to support the affected individuals and families. It was a testament to the strength and compassion that resides within the hearts of these communities.
During this challenging time, Church World Service stepped in to provide aid and donated the much-needed cleanup kits. Although the local Conference of St. Vincent de Paul did not directly provide the kits, they played a crucial role by connecting Church World Service with the impacted communities. The relief effort required a 501(c)(3) organization to sign off on the donation, and the St. Vincent de Paul Conference facilitated this process, allowing the support to reach those in need.
One of the driving forces behind the coordination and assistance efforts was Joe Butkovich of the SVdP Council of Joliet, a dedicated individual who serves as the Vice Chair of the NE IL COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disasters). Joe also plays a crucial role in the long-term recovery board of NVOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). His expertise and commitment have been instrumental in ensuring effective disaster case management and guiding the recovery process.
As the affected communities slowly move towards recovery, it’s important to acknowledge that establishing the Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) is a work in progress. These efforts take time, and the collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders are essential to ensure a comprehensive and effective recovery plan.
Though the road to recovery may be long, the spirit of community support, resilience, and generosity shines brightly in the face of adversity. We stand in awe of the compassion and unity displayed by the Town of Cicero, Stickney, Berwyn, and the Austin area in Chicago during this trying time.
Together, as a united community, we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way. Let us extend our thoughts and support to those affected by the floods and continue to stand by them throughout their journey to recovery.
Thank you for being part of our compassionate and caring community. To support communities like Joe’s please visit www.svdpdisaster.org to support our efforts.