SUMAS/EVERSON/NOOKSACK, Wash. — Over 1,100 volunteers from Whatcom and Skagit Counties showed up Saturday, November 20th, to help residents clean up after a major Nooksack River flooding event and start the rebuilding process.
According to Everson Mayor John Perry, over 600 volunteers appeared in Everson and Nooksack and another 500 in Sumas. He said volunteers were from Lynden, Ferndale, Bellingham, Anacortes and other locations.
Volunteers helped clean up over 170 homes and disposed of over 300 tons of waste, according to Perry.
I watched group after group of volunteers come back after a long day, covered in mud and smiles. Person after person came up to me overcome with emotions. They were heartbroken for the community and those who have lost so much, thankful for the opportunity to help, and overwhelmed by the show of love, support and caring that every single person there exhibited. Many people were helped and it was a blessing to the people who received it and those who gave.
Perry said several Whatcom County businesses donated supplies, tools, heavy equipment and hauling services.
Volunteers are encouraged to show up in Sumas again today, Sunday, November 21st, from 8am to 3:30pm at the check-in center on the corner of Cherry Street and Sumas Avenue.
Team Rubicon is expected to begin arriving in areas impacted by the flooding soon, Perry said. Team Rubicon is a national non-profit organization of volunteers, mostly military veterans, who serve vulnerable and at-risk populations impacted by disasters. Perry said they are expected to begin their assessments and start to work on homes early next week. There is an online form to apply for their services.