Georgia Tuckness’ home and property may have suffered a great deal of damage as a result of August’s massive flooding, but the long-time Waynesville resident said she still tries to have a positive outlook.
On top of totaling three of her family’s vehicles, ruining many of her home’s large appliances, requiring new flooring and drywall in her downstairs and having her basement totally gutted due to mold and water damage, Tuckness said her landscape, which she takes great pride in, was also engulfed in sand.
As a result of flood waters from Mitchell Creek and Pearson Creek consuming her property, Tuckness said she may have had nearly a ton of sand in her backyard.
“I call it my beachfront property,” she joked.
Tuckness said massive property damage hasn’t been easy for she or her husband, Steve, but they’ve tried to make the best of a bad situation.
“We’re not happy it happened, but what can you do?” she asked.
Tuckness said that she did not have any advanced notice of the flood.
“I woke up at 1:20 a.m. when there was loud thunder and lightning,” she said. “There was standing water outside, and within 30 minutes, it was running water. I did not go back to sleep.”
She said there has been flooding near her home before, but it was quite some time ago, and nowhere near as extreme as this summer.
“In 1991, we had water come into our garage, but not into our house,” she said. “This time, it was gushing and seeping in. The water was 20 inches deep in our basement. We’ve lived here 23 years, and this is our first bad experience.”
She said that and her husband stayed in their home during the flood.
“We went upstairs and sat down. What more could we do?” she asked.
In total, the couple stayed with friends for three or four nights after the flood before moving back into the second floor of their home.
Although her home did have mold, and it is still relatively musty, Tuckness said she was assured by a physician’s assistant that she was safe to stay in her home.
She said that, even though her home is still a long way from being back in living condition, work is progressing.
Since the flood, the couple's basement has been gutted, floors taken up, and everything that couldn’t be salvaged has been disposed of. Tuckness said the next step will be for a contractor to replace the home's walls.
Page 2 of 2 - New flooring is on Georgia's radar, but that is on hold until the home’s crawl space dries out.
Tuckness expected her home to be completed within three weeks.
Tuckness said that such progress would not have been made possible without a great deal of support.
“We’ve had help from our family, friends, the Maries. … The Saturday after the flooding, we had six military guys help us take everything destroyed by the flood to a huge dumpster.
“I was really impressed with [The Red Cross]. They brought cleaning supplies and food.”
She said the Pulaski County Community Organization Active in Disaster (COAD) also assisted by spraying her home for mold. Members of the faith-based organization also assisted her family, and friends have even gifted them with several restaurant gift cards to help ease the devastation.
Though federal funding was denied for homeowners, Tuckness said local support has been invaluable.
“Thank you to our community for encouraging us and supporting us,” she said. “I could not have imagined having any better help than we did.”