Wednesday, April 16, 1997
HQ helps women
get new start

Rebuilding after flood led by volunteers

BY ANDREA TORTORA
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BUTLER, Ky. - Donna Kendall and Marilyn Holt didn't know where to begin to make their Mill Street home habitable again.

Set a few dozen yards from the Licking River, the small, two-story house was soaked when the river flooded in March, turning the blue cinder-block structure into a mess of mud and sagging walls.

''We didn't know what to do,'' Ms. Kendall, 59, said Tuesday as she worked at the Butler City Building, where she is clerk.

So the Rev. Joe Boone, pastor at Butler Baptist Church, performed some divine intervention.

HQ to rescue

He put Ms. Kendall and Ms. Holt in touch with the managers at the Home Quarters Warehouse in Florence. Now the women are getting lessons in hanging dry wall and putting in floors.

For the next two days, the store's Larry Baker will be laboring at 202 Mill St., teaching as they work.

''It's a pretty simple process,'' Mr. Baker said. ''As long as you cut it right, it's not hard to work with.''

Floodwaters destroyed the walls and doors and made the floor ripple. White daffodils planted around the foundation add a pretty, lived-in look to the bare-bones structure.

Now living with Ms. Kendall's foster son in Highland Heights, the women are excited to get their home back.

''I'm thrilled to death,'' Ms. Kendall said. ''I can't hardly wait.''

She's hoping to move back in by the end of the month. Until then, the guys from HQ will work hard to get everything ready.

The men worked Tuesday putting in a ceiling in the home's two front rooms. By the end of the week, they hope to have all four first-floor rooms completed.

Once the dry wall is hung, they'll mud and tape the joints to give the new walls a smooth appearance.

And the crew wants anyone interested in learning some tips to stop by the house.

''It's great to help them get this back to the way it was, or maybe even better,'' lumber manager Randy Mullins said. ''But we've got to be careful of the rosebush out there. She'll be after us if we hurt it.''

Ms. Kendall said she's just glad to be getting the help.

As for her flowers, ''They look nice in all that mud, and our roses are coming out.''

COMMEMORATIVE SECTION
FLOOD STORIES
FLOOD PHOTOS