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"They can't stay in tents'; Woman concerned for family living in flood-damaged eastern Kentucky

Lisa Harris said she's worried, but appreciates the dedication volunteers have shown. One Louisville construction company answers the call to action.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While the state finalizes a big relief package, Kentuckians from all over the state continue to volunteer in eastern Kentucky.

Many Appalachians are now living in tents, some in their own yards, as they wait for help.

WHAS11 talked to a woman who is concerned for her family.

"They can't stay in tents. They're gonna have to have a home. Winter is coming,” Lisa Harris said; her family lives in Hazard.

Harris, a Hazard native, now lives in Taylor County, where devastating tornadoes hit in December. Now, eight months later, she's trying to help her family the best way she can.

Around early August, Harris took truckloads of supplies and is planning another trip soon.

"When I came home, I actually felt guilty because I have family down there who don’t have food tonight, they don't have clothing tonight,” she said. “They only have what we took down there and what they were able to get off of our trucks."

And, they don't have a home, which Harris is worried can lead to severe illness.

"It's just really heartbreaking to know that we lost a lot of family members and a lot of friends and family during this, but at the same time now we take the chance of losing more,” she said.

That's why Harris said volunteers are so important.

A Louisville construction company is planning a trip to Letcher County on Monday, to volunteer.

Chris Smyth, vice president of estimating at Wehr Constructors, said a team of 40 people, himself included, are going with a mission - fix as much as possible, whether it's a home or a church.

"A lot of us are gonna stay until we can't swing a hammer,” Smyth said. "I couldn't imagine being stuck on a roof. I couldn’t imagine a family member being lost. We all get caught up in little things. This is serious and if we can all just give them a little bit of hope – hope’s coming."

Though the trip is planned for one day, Smyth said they're dedicated for the long-haul.

He also added the trip is entirely the credit of the leadership of the company, who he says has always made sure to put Kentuckians first during natural disasters.

And, Harris’ volunteer program, Toys for Kids, plans to bring Christmas to the Mountains with a large toy drive in December 2022.

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