Military veterans helping flood victims

Military veterans helping flood victims

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With so many volunteers helping out the Onion Creek flood victims, military veterans are now providing the structure needed to get the community back up and running.
As residents work to rebuild their homes, volunteers are building up their spirits.
"The outpouring of support from people who aren't even in this particular community but from Austin, the state of Texas and from the nation. A lot of these charitable organizations, people come in from other states," says John Cole, homeowner/Onion Creek neighborhood.
The state assigned Team Rubicon, a disaster relief group, to coordinate the volunteer efforts.
"We decided Thursday night that we needed to re-assess the whole area to get everybody on the same page," says Chance Karshens, state operations coordinator, Team Rubicon.
The non-profit organization is comprised of mainly military veterans, who are trying to provide leadership in this disaster situation.
"This whole neighborhood was covered in about two feet of water," James Sarabia, U.S. Forest Service.
So far they have contacted all homeowners in Silverstone, Onion Creek Forest and Yabaree Bend.
They are keeping track of what work has been completed and what still needs to be done.
Over 100 houses have been gutted out completely.
"There are so many different risks, cockroaches are crawling around all over the place. It's a public health nightmare," says James Sarabia, U.S. Forest Service.
More than 700 volunteers put in over one-thousand hours of time helping out last weekend.
This weekend they are hoping to do the same.
"Pulling down sheet-rock, placing it in trash bags, basically just staying busy," says Andrea Thomas, volunteer.
Many families are coming together to lend a hand.
Andrea and Kenzi Thomas say it's a rewarding experience.
"If I were in that situation I would want someone to do it for me. So I just feel like it's a good thing to do for people. It's the right thing to do," says Kenzi Thomas, volunteer.
You pay it forward. If this was us, I would hope somebody would come and help us," says Andrea Thomas, volunteer. 
More volunteers are still needed, if you're interested you can go to the volunteer reception center at 6900 Onion Creek Dr. at 1 PM Sunday or go to www.teamrubiconusa.org.
Once all homes in Onion Creek are complete, Team Rubicon will be helping the Bluff Springs neighborhood.

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