McDowell South gives RV to flood victims

The flood of 2019 broke records for its duration and inconvenienced thousands of people, as it closed down highways in Southern Illinois.

For most, the flood was a major inconvenience. For farmers, it meant loss of income. For some, it meant damaged or destroyed property.

But the flood of 2019 hit one family, at least locally, more than any other.

The Franklin family of McClure Illinois lost Robbin Christopher Franklin, a 31-year-old Army veteran, who drowned in the flood. On top of that, their home was wrecked. The flood continued to take its toll on their house as they grieved their loss. Some 40 inches of water creeped into their house, and it just stayed there. The seepwater wouldn't go away. They lost their utilities, so they couldn't cook. The cost of eating out at restaurants excacerbated their financial situation.

A storm destroyed the front porch. Possessions were ruined. Black mold has taken over. It's heartbreaking.

As Ben Matthews reported, East Cape Girardeau, Illinois, resident and U.S. Postal Service worker Ashley Sturm heard about the Franklins' situation while offering mold removal services to flood victims. The first time she saw the state of the Franklin family's home, she cried.

"It was horrible," Sturm said. "Even with what I can spray, everything has to be torn down, and they can't live in that -- but they were living in that."

Strum reached out to several local RV dealerships, and now the family has a respite from the mold thanks to the donation of an RV with a kitchen from McDowell South RV. This was no small donation. It's a special gift to meet a desperate need to a grieving family that has lost so much. We'd like to recognize that generosity from McDowell South, who recognized the grief and helped a family in a desperate situation, victims to a natural disaster that was no fault of their own.