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Group of refugees in Omaha grateful to community after summer floods

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 11:01 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A group of refugee families in Omaha finally got their happy ending after flash-flooding swept through the Omaha area this summer.

Eleven families were hit hard by the historic waters but the community stepped up to help get them back on their feet.

When the floodwaters came that August night, they were fast and furiously drowning streets, filling elevators, and wiping out basements. Sabirine and Samia Mohamed recall the waters rushing through their apartment.

6 News asked them “When do you think about, what do you think?”

“The screaming,” said Samira, flood victim, “The screaming, the kids screaming and thinking the electricity would just fall and create electricity and kill people.”

The eleven Somali families affected lost everything from clothing to school supplies, bedding, and more.

A local non-profit quickly decided to help out.

“We’re compiling a list of everything that was lost,” said Hannah Wyble, Executive Director of Restoring Dignity, “Many of the families lost almost everything in their apartments.”

The rest of the community stepped up as well with donations that made all the difference to these families as they started over in their new apartment.

“Kitchen supplies, and pillows, and bedsheets, and mattresses, and a lot we are so grateful,” said Samira.

Their younger brothers were also excited for a fresh start. The three boys say they enjoy the new bunk beds and being able to climb high on them.

“I basically read out loud to them when they go to bed,” said Aden Mohamed, “Or sometimes we watch TV or maybe I sing to them.”

As for their mother - she doesn’t speak much English - but her laughter says a lot.

None of what was given is taken for granted.

“We say thank you to the community and all the hard work they did for us,” said Samira, “And we are so grateful.”

The eleven families were also assisted by the Red Cross while damages were repaired in their apartment complex. The majority of the families did return to those rental units.

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