Volunteers help flood victims pump water from waterlogged basements

GRAYSLAKE, ILL – Cleanup efforts continued in Grayslake Friday, which was hard by Tuesday night’s storms.

Pockets of Grayslake are still underwater after the heavy rainfall.

But here and elsewhere people are flooded not only with water but also the frustrations that come with it.  They are finding help from a group whose only mission is to ease the pain by helping to drain.

Lutheran Church Charities Disaster Response team arrived ready to pump out basements.

“They’re all volunteers from Lord of Glory Church or in our district,” said director Kathy O’Day.  She says they have seen basements that are full with eight feet of water.

“It’s just massive flooding,” she said.

Darrell Belnniss watched this week as relentless rain battered his neighborhood and then his basement.

“It got to the point where the water was just flowing into my basement,” he said.  “And it filled it into the celling in the basement. … A lot of things were floating.  We were scurrying up and down stairs to get as much as we could out.  At some point, we just had to make a decision what to do with my family.”

With his wife and kids at a hotel, Belnniss is now at home dealing with the damage. But thanks to the brigade of volunteers, he’s not alone.

“If it weren’t for them, I’d have to pay for this service and find somebody who is available. I’m sure they’re not available right now,” he said.

The water alone would cost thousands to remove, then there’s the issue of clean-up and restoration.

The Lutheran Charities Disaster Response team is well trained and can start the process of pumping out the water.

“They have a heart for ministry, and a heart for serving other people,” O’Day said.

Volunteers are working 12 hour days and say they’ll back the next day and the next until everyone who needs help has  received it.