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Morehouse to celebrate flood recovery Saturday
MOREHOUSE, Mo. -- After five months of cleaning up debris and rebuilding their homes, Morehouse residents may be ready for a night off from work and worries.
A flood recovery celebration is planned for Saturday at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Morehouse.
"The people in Morehouse have been through a lot with the flood, and there's been a lot of people who've stepped up and worked hard in this flood recovery," said the Rev. Randy Conn, pastor of First Baptist Church in Morehouse. "So this celebration is an opportunity for those who've been affected by the flood and those who've worked in the flood renovation process to sit down and have an evening away from all that."
Conn said the Morehouse Ministerial Alliance, which is made up of pastors of First Baptist Church, General Baptist Church, Assembly of God and Methodist Church in Morehouse, came up with the idea.
"We just wanted to give them a night to sit back and catch their breath and know what services are still available for them and try to identify needs we may not have known," Conn said.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. Musical entertainment by Bradford Ministries and speakers are planned.
The night will also be a time to recognize all those who've helped in the flood recovery at Morehouse, Conn said.
"We just want to say thank you to all who have helped instead of trying to recognize each individual because there are so many and we wouldn't want to leave anyone out," Conn said, adding there was also a great number of churches who came in and brought people to help with the recovery.
Various agency booths will be set up and information about what is still available for those affected by the floods will be available, Conn said. New Madrid County Long-term Recovery, Salvation Army, Bootheel Counseling Services are some of the agencies slated to be represented at the event, he said.
"We still have people working to get back into their homes and still have homes demolished and are cleaning up the debris," Conn said.
Morehouse Mayor Pete Leija, who is scheduled to speak at the celebration, said the town of 1,000 or so residents has made great progress after nearly 80 percent of it was affected by the April floods.
"We're probably 90 percent complete on debris removal, and we're pretty much there," Leija said. "The rebuilding will be going on for a while."
Leija said townspeople need to review their situation and determine where they are at in the recovery.
"A lot of people are back in their homes and living there normal lives -- basically," Leija said.
The town has changed a lot over the past few months, he said. Besides homes being damaged and lost, the town's school is also no longer in existence.
"Fortunately we'll be getting a Dollar General store," Leija said.
Other projects are also in the works, he said.
"We've got a lot of plans and are still waiting and seeing what will happen," Leija said.