Students from The U assist with flood relief in Iowa

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Five students from The University of South Dakota traveled to eastern Iowa recently where they spent a weekend in Cedar Falls assisting with cleanup of the flood-damaged community. The students, who departed on July 10 from Vermillion, spent two days working inside and outside a house that was damaged during the June floods. Projects at the house included the removal of insulation from walls and a crawl space, removing carpet, linoleum and sub-floor from the entire house, and taking out cabinets from the kitchen and bathrooms. At the end of their first work day, the students, with assistance from local volunteers, had almost finished deconstructing the interior of the home.

"Flooding in Iowa has hit these communities hard," noted Courtny Nesheim, AmeriCorps VISTA in the Center for Academic Engagement and trip leader, "it’s up to individuals and groups in neighboring cities and states to help these communities rebuild. Disasters can take only a couple minutes to destroy, so we have to commit to the years it may take to rebuild."

Students volunteering their service in Cedar Falls included Kaci Nickerson of Cambridge, Neb., Amber Schmidt of Hartford, S.D., Bryan Palmer of Pierre, S.D., Yunlin Zheng of China and Allie White of Germany.

More information about the flood relief trip as well as photographs from the project can be found online at: A photo of the group can be downloaded at