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Indiana football team answers call to help rebuild broken bridge after flooding

In a matter of three hours the team had taken apart the broken and scattered boards, then replaced them with new planks.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The residents of southeastern Indiana were devastated by flooding Saturday night.

In a matter of three hours, nine inches of rain swelled through Jefferson and Switzerland Counties, destroying homes, scattering belongings and taking one life.

Marks left behind by the flash flooding are easy to see, from overturned cars to mangled bridges. 

However, it’s easiest to spot the helpers.

“We’ve been rallying,” Switzerland County Pacer Football Coach Ryan Jesop told WHAS11 News. The eighth-grade teacher said he saw the impact in his student body.

One student even lost his entire home to the floods.

While such life-altering events can be hard to overcome, the coach chose to start by helping one family.

The grandparents of a freshman on his football team have been unable to go in or out of their home, Jesop said.

A bridge that connects their home to the road was destroyed by rapid water.

So, Jesop sent out a message to the team asking if anyone could help tear down the old bridge and build a new one. Of course, they showed up.

In a matter of three hours the team had taken apart the broken and scattered boards, then replaced them with new planks, restoring the families connection between their home and the community around them.

The small act of kindness served as a window into the constant support that’s cyclical in Switzerland County. Jesop said the grandparents were known by his players because they’d showed up and supported the team in the past.

Credit: SC Pacers Football
The Switzerland County Pacer football team gathers on the bridge they just built for an elderly couple in their community after the original one was damaged in flash flooding over Labor Day weekend.

“The amount of time and energy we put in today is nothing compared to the first responders and fire department,” Jesop added.

He described volunteers handing out water, a camp dispersing food before closing for the season, and a soccer team bringing resources to those who needed them.

As the community now mourns the loss of one life from the flood, they continue showing up for their neighbors and offering help in the ways they can.

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