Volunteers help flood victims 1 year later

A year after heavy rains flooded much of metro Detroit many homeowners are still knee deep in damage.

Some are living in homes that are dangerous to their health.

Garry and Lynne Den Besten are on a mission to help. Now retired and volunteering for World Renew Disaster Response, they are going door in the Pershing neighborhood not selling but searching.

"There's lots of mold, they didn't get it dried out properly," said Garry Den Besten. "Mold is there and lots of families with young kids and the elderly people that are living in these areas these houses."

The couple is trying to track down flood victims from last August. People like Dekisha Dugeon who are still dealing with the damage after the surge of water seeped into their homes.

"There was clothes that were destroyed, furniture, a washing machine and dryer, a TV" she said. "I had a bed set up for my oldest son down there, all of that was destroyed."

Dugeon's basement remains off limits and she is not alone. Volunteers are also finding homes without working furnaces and as many as six people a day who are now living with serious health issues.

"A lot have asthma, COPD," Lynne Den Besten said. "Children are developing coughs that didn't have them before, that's all related to the mold."

If no one is at the house, the group leaves behind a note telling them to call 2-1-1. The information compiled by the team is then forwarded to the southeast Michigan flood recovery group.

No promises, but at least possibilities.

"It does give me a lot of hope," Dugeon said. "Even if they can't help, just to know they are trying."

FOX 2 is told volunteers with World Renew will be out through Friday. The hope is to get the people they meet with, the additional resource they need to address those health and home issues as soon as possible.