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Three generation family dealt tough hand; looking for positives - KOAM TV 7

Three generation family dealt tough hand; looking for positives

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GALENA, KANSAS -

The lack of furniture and trash everywhere are not a reflection of how Janet Brown keeps her house, it is a outcome of the recent flooding to her home.

A neighbor attempted to evacuate Brown and her daughter and granddaughter as flooding got worse.

"We grabbed what we could for the night and went out and got in his car and his car got stuck, so the girls and I had to wade up the road a ways to get to our cars. The water was up to our hips at that time," Brown said.

Brown lived outside of Galena on Shoal Creek with her daughter and granddaughter as they were between homes. Brown moved into the home seven years ago on her late husband John's request, so he could fish in their backyard. John passed away in the Quapaw/Baxter Springs tornado when a concrete wall fell on to the car he and Janet were taking shelter in. John hovered over his wife to protect her, but ultimately, he died at the scene.

Recently, Brown and her daughter, Dawn Simpson, began going through John's things to decide what to do with them. But, nature intervened.

"It's been a rough few years for us ever since my dad passed in the tornado anyways, and we've been dealing with some situations. My daughter has been losing her eyesight this last year also," Simpson said of her daughter, Jordan, a fourth-grader, ""to have to start all over on something like this, on top of everything else, is a little bit rough."

Friends and family urge the women to ask for help, but they are not sure where to begin. Insurance will help recover some of the house structure, but belongings are considered a total loss.

"It's hard to ask for help, it's hard to think you need help, it's hard to wrap around your brain what has gone on here and what we've lost and where we're going from here," Brown said, choking back tears.

For now, Simpson said the small things help.

"Stuff that you use that you don't think about until you're like, 'oh, I don't have that'. Socks. We went and bought a package of socks to split between the three of us and stuff like that," Simpson said.

Simpson has had to take daughter Jordan out of school due to her degenerative eyesight loss. Jordan can count on one hand how many sets of clothing she has left after the flood, which also took her Christmas presents and most of her belongings.

"The things that are very irreplaceable are your family, and they're the people that take care of you, and they're the people that love you, and you can't replace that at all, but you can replace the clothes and the shoes and the toaster and all that stuff," Jordan said.

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