Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Valmeyer Residents Sitting Pretty (as Possible) in Their Own Tent City

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Valmeyer Residents Sitting Pretty (as Possible) in Their Own Tent City

Article excerpt

Two Mississippi chefs showed up with a tractor-trailer of food.

A local farmer donated a pair of pigs.

A family from San Diego brought stuffed animals.

Residents of flooded Valmeyer have moved into a tent city south of Waterloo, a scene that conjures up images of the Depression. But these displaced families are being showered with a wealth of food and supplies.

"For the situation we're in, I can't complain at all," said Lisa Brand, who was among the 900 Valmeyer residents washed out when a levee broke Aug. 1.

Brand, 22, and her son, Adam, 3, have been staying on grounds owned by the Waterloo Sportsman's Club, a private fishing club that offered its 200 acres as a temporary home to the displaced.

On Wednesday, about 50 campsites were set up in a field between the club's three lakes. Accommodations ranged from large air-conditioned motor homes to Brand's tiny blue tent.

One pavilion contained stacked cases of canned water and soft drinks. The main pavilion, where meals are served, looked like a grocery store warehouse, with boxes of fresh fruit, cereal, paper goods and other products lining the walls.

Some 200 suddenly homeless people have camped at the grounds, said Don Dietz, a Monroe County commissioner and club member. Supplies have come from all over, with trucks pulling in every day, he said.

"Monroe County, Alabama, is sending an 18-wheeler. The World Harvest Club of Columbus, Ohio, sent $18,000 worth of goods. And the Salvation Army . . . you can't ask for more," he said. "We don't want to be unkind, but we've got an overabundance of clothes."

Dane Muhlig and his family pulled up Wednesday in a 24-foot rental truck. The Muhligs gathered the camp's children, sang "Merry Christmas" and began handing out stuffed animals.

Muhlig said he represented Victory, a nonprofit charity group in San Diego that normally makes trips into impoverished areas of Mexico. …

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