The swollen Arkansas River has devastated cities and neighborhoods in the Midwest but help is flooding affected communities, too.
Todd Taylor, U.S. disaster relief manager for Samaritan's Purse, is currently on the ground in flood-ravaged Oklahoma and describes the difficulties of cleaning out homes.
"Some of these homes have water up in the attics,” he says. “It's quite extensive work to get one of these homes cleaned up and ready for that homeowner to make repairs."
Oklahoma's flooding problems stemmed from the Arkansas River and its swollen waters that forced officials to release millions of gallons from the Keystone Dam north of Tulsa, USA Today reported.
Those flood waters have devastated Arkansas communities, too, and now Eight Days of Hope has announced it is taking its disaster relief efforts to Fort Smith, where flood waters have receded, next week.
Eight Days founder Steve Tybor announced the plans to American Family Radio on May 7, explaining that it was difficult to choose where to set up due to the devastation all around the Arkansas River.
The relief efforts are expected to shift to Pine Bluff once flood waters recede there, he said.
"It's taken time for us to find a way to even get in to Forth Smith," he tells OneNewsNow.
Eight Days volunteers are needed now to begin work in Forth Smith on June 12.
Back in flooded Oklahoma, Taylor tells OneNewsNow about one older gentleman his team encountered in Sand Springs, a town of approximately 19,000 where hundreds have endured the dam's flood waters.
Not only was his home flooded but he had recently lost his wife due to illness and, tired of all the heartache, was close to making a permanent, life-altering decision.
“He was thinking about suicide,” Taylor tells OneNewsNow. “And our teams were able to help him immediately start cleaning out, giving his family time to come around him and gather around him. This gentleman wound up recommitting his life to Christ, visited church Sunday with a smile on his face just realizing there is hope in tomorrow, and that's through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Editor's Note: This story has been updated with information from Eight Days of Hope.