HEARTLAND FLOOD: Habitat for Humanity joins Bellevue flood recovery campaign

BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) -- Flood cleanup has been underway for weeks now in the heartland and Habitat for Humanity has had hundreds of people call in wanting to help.

Wednesday was the first time we’ve been able to go out with them and see them in action. They were in a Bellevue neighborhood working non-stop.

They've been working day in and day out to clean out homes that need to be gutted after filling with flood water.

Habitat for Humanity says that while there is no shortage of volunteers, Habitat doesn’t have expertise in dealing with flood damage so that's why they've partnered up with other nonprofits like Team Rubicon to help.

On Wednesday they were working on three houses in the Bellevue area that are bumped right up to the Platte River. They're removing everything from inside so homeowners can have the opportunity to start over.

In one house alone they said they removed nearly 5,000 square feet of mud from inside and around the property.

Team Rubicon’s Rick Middleton said, “A lot of times when you see your home devastated like this you're just like, ‘I give up.’ But once we leave and it's clean you kinda look and you can see your house there again.”

Habitat for Humanity’s Jenny Schroeder said, “We had a ton of supporters and volunteers that wanted to come out and help now and the way we felt made the most sense is to partner with other people that were doing the work and providing them with the man power to do it.”

Volunteers at Wednesday’s three-house cleanup definitely got their hands dirty, dressed from head to toe in protective gear, pulling out everything from inside - all of it damaged by flood waters.

Volunteer Jesse Lewis said, “As soon as we walked in there was a dining room chair hanging from the chandelier so the flood waters were that high. It just left it hanging there. It's pretty incredible.”

Schroeder said, “We're somewhere close to a hundred people who are helping and we have dozens of dozens of others who are signed up to help in the coming weeks.”

Two of the homeowners helped Wednesday are military veterans and their losses included flood-ravaged flags.

Jesse Lewis is also a veteran. He said seeing the flags hit home so they replaced them. “Bought a couple of American Flags, put them up here to let them know the nation is behind them.”

Middleton said, “We come and we see what's happened here and our hearts open up and we just cannot work hard enough.”

Habitat says once they finish up at the current location they'll be on to the next one. They say they already have 100 more requests for help in the surrounding area.