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Students from USD CAE assist with eastern Iowa flood relief

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Nine students from The University of South Dakota spent a weekend in Waterloo, Iowa, assisting the community that received flood damage over a year ago and is still struggling to recover.

Flood relief projects included sorting, organizing and removing water damaged belongings, tearing down wood paneling, sanitizing basements and painting interiors inside homes. At the conclusion of their work, the students had helped three families in their recovery from the floods.

Due to the large amount of damage, it took inspectors more than a year to assess people’s homes.

“It changed my belief that flood relief can come quick,” said Justin Achua, a USD student from Sioux Falls, S.D. “One family had to wait over a year to start cleaning up.”

“People need to realize there is still a need in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area,” added trip leader Donielle Gustafson, AmeriCorps VISTA in the Center for Academic Engagement at USD. “It takes years for a community to rebuild and there are still families living in unhealthy conditions.”

Students participating in the trip included: Achua, Danielle Sieck of Selby, S.D., Stephen Baunach of Trumbull, Conn., Alex Brummer of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Debbra Haworth of Scotland, S.D., Justin Kloster and Ashley Schelling of Brandon, S.D., and Ainsley Askew Amanda Hettinger of Pierre, S.D.