Continuing Flow of Flood Relief

April 01, 1994

The powerful floods that tore apart the Midwest last summer

TC have helped, in the aftermath, to forge continuing bonds between those devastated farm towns and dozens of small Maryland communities. Relief efforts continue by many Marylanders who have adopted flooded sister towns along the Mississippi River, a testament to their enduring, helping spirit and generosity.

Communities in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri continue to benefit from the flood-relief activities coming from this state. About two dozen Maryland municipalities maintain their ties with flooded communities that are still faced with immense obstacles to recovery.

Mount Airy volunteers are making plans this month for their third trip to Alexandria, Mo., a hamlet of 250 people on the Mississippi River that the Carroll County town adopted last August.

Mayor Gerald Johnson hopes to recruit a crew of volunteer laborers, skilled and unskilled, to travel in motor homes to the area and spend two weeks rebuilding the homes of the neediest families in that community. Workers from the Maryland town will do everything from installing drywall to painting homes of the elderly and those without insurance funds to rebuild.

Mount Airy's flood relief committee has raised $47,000 for Alexandria, most it for building materials and appliances and medical expenses. The group shipped medical supplies and food last summer, and a trailer of gifts and food in December.

"They're such tenacious people, and this is their home and their life. They're going to stay right there on that river, I understand them," said Robert Hilton, who will make his second trip to the area.

Others have not forgotten, either. Students at Friendship Valley Elementary School near Westminster shipped 800 library books last month to a Missouri City, Mo., school they adopted. The youngsters earned the books from publishers through a reading incentive program.

Meanwhile, Carroll County continues to provide a helping hand to Hancock County, Ill., collecting funds for another shipment of household goods and cleanup materials to that ravaged farming area on the Mississippi.

We salute those who have not let the plight of the flood victims slip from memory, but who continue to contribute their time and resources to the needs of their less fortunate neighbors a thousand miles away. Volunteers for the building project in Alexandria may contact the Mount Airy Town Hall.

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