‘This is all just stuff. Nobody died’

Like so many others in Webbers Falls, Chris and Tonya Adams lost everything in what will one day be called the Historic Flood of 2019.

They went about the task Monday of removing everything they lost out of their home they had rented for the past six years. They were piling the items up next to the street, years of things they had collected and cherished.

“They are just things,” Chris Adams said. “I collected things over the years and had been thinking it might be time to clean them out. This (flood) just gave me a little push.”

The water from the bloated Arkansas River had covered the park and was lapping just across the street from their home on South River Road in Webbers Falls when Tonya Adams said they left the home with the “clothes on their back.”

Tonya said when they returned to the home and looked inside, her son turned and walked away, upset. He could not stay to help clean up.

A self-described prepper and a 100 percent disabled Marine, Chris Adams said the flood was one thing you could not prepare for. Preppers or survivalists are individuals or groups who actively prepare for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. Preppers also prepare for personal emergencies, such as job loss or being stranded in the wild or under adverse weather conditions. The emphasis is on self-reliance, stockpiling supplies, and gaining survival knowledge and skills. Adams said he had hope to survive in his home, but the majority of his home now lay at his feet, next to the street.

Adams does have something to fall back on since he is 100 percent disabled due to an injury while serving in the Marines.

Tonya Adams said they have contacted FEMA, the Cherokee Nation, Veterans Affairs and Disabled American Veterans for help. They have been on a waiting list for a Cherokee Nation home.

“We found a fifth wheel a lady sold to us for $1,500. She took a hit on the price because she said she had been through a similar situation,” Tonya Adams said. “We will set it up on some overlook road. It will be hard on us for awhile. We have a son who is 6-foot tall and six dogs we'll have to have outside cages to put them in.”

Adams said all the churches in the area, the Buckhorn Fire Department have all been helpful and Gambino's Pizza brought them food, along with the Red Cross.

“We left when the water came up to the park. We got our kids out, our dogs out and got our birth certificates and left with the clothes on our back. We rented a storage building, but we lost 95 percent of our stuff,” Tonya Adams said.

“This is all just stuff,” Chris Adams said pointing to the pile beside the street that was once the contents of their home. “Nobody died.”

Sequoyah County Times

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