Muskogee Co. Disaster Committee Holds Open Counseling Sessions For Flood Victims


Tuesday, January 7th 2020, 2:10 pm
By: Amy Kauffman


Muskogee County Disaster Recovery Committee wanted to open counseling sessions for flood victims all along the Arkansas River.

They said it's important for people to understand the stages of grief they're going through in order to move forward with their lives.

"I couldn't see,” said Mike Ogle. “It was going to be bad when the water went down, but you just didn't think about it.”

For miles homes were underwater.

For Ogle, it's something he would like to forget, but every day he is reminded of the devastation left behind by record spring flooding.

"It’s a horror story every day,” said Ogle.

Ogle and his wife Diane used their boat to give people a chance to check on their homes and salvage what they could.            

Now seven months later, the Ogles are putting their own home back together.

"Man has always had to live close to water since day one, and old man river giveth and old man river taketh away,” said Ogle.

The Muskogee County Disaster Recovery Committee said there are many people like the Ogles experiencing symptoms of grief, depression, and maybe even PTSD.              

They said many victims lost more than just their belongings.

"Loss of dignity, loss of the ability to control one's emotions, just so many factors that’s involved,” said Fort Gibson Christian Church Pastor Jack Perkins.

Perkins said the flooding impacted people in many ways.

Some lost their homes, others lost their jobs.

"Your house note goes on and your vehicle note goes on. They didn't have any income," said Perkins. 

Diane said she will probably take advantage of the counseling sessions, but Ogle said he relies on neighbors going through the same thing he is.

Both said their lives will never be the same.

"It's changed in some ways for the better. Meeting all these people and getting to know them,” said Diane.

“Knowing nothing's forever,” said Jack.

The sessions start this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Fort Gibson Christian Church and will run for the next several weeks.

Here’s the schedule:

Saturday 1/11/20: Loss and Grief

Saturday 1/18/20: Stress and Anxiety

Saturday 1/25/20: Depression and PTSD

Saturday 2/1/20: Spirituality

Saturday 2/8/20: Dealing with Change

Saturday 2/15/20: What Now?