Veteran Starting Over After Flood Destroys Home In Fort Gibson

Sunday, June 9th 2019, 7:36 am
By: Erick Payne

Families across Green Country are beginning the recovery process after weeks of flooding and rain.

That includes Darrel Elliott, a 72-year old veteran cleaning up the mess at his Fort Gibson home. Elliott has been living here the last 30 years and says the damage left behind has been unimaginable. When the Arkansas River rose, there were several feet of floodwater covering his property.

He's is a disabled Vietnam War veteran. His wife, Sheila, is in remission from cancer, but nothing could have prepared him for this.

"It was like a bomb went off," Darrel Elliott said. "Never in my wildest dreams think it would ever get this bad, never ever."

During the peak of the flooding, Darrel's house was filled with three feet of water.

"The furniture in the house ruined, everything is totally gone," Elliott said.

His barn and backyard all had several feet of water. Parts below the foundation are hollowed out and his RV is a mess.

"A total loss, that's all I can say is a total loss," Elliott said.

Car titles, military records, pictures and documents were all swept away. Since the water receded, he's been working 12 to 16 hour days to clean everything up. Darrel didn't have flood insurance but he's getting by with support from the church, friends and even some he doesn't know.

"They've been here every step of the way," Elliott said. "It's overwhelming, but they keep telling me the end is in sight so I've got confidence in them."

Darrel tells me he plans to rebuild but says he probably wouldn't have gotten to that point if it weren't for all the support he's gotten.