Volunteers Salvage Flooded Homes To Build Anew

Posted at: 09/18/2013 11:01 PM
Updated at: 09/18/2013 11:06 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- Across the northeast side of Mason City, dozens of homes are still boarded up, vacant reminders of the 2008 floods.

But Habitat for Humanity is looking to salvage those old homes and turn them into new ones.

Crews of volunteers visited a number of vacant homes on Wednesday, removing anything in good enough condition to be sold at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

“Everything from light fixtures to doors, windows, appliances if there are any available,” said Brian Lewerke, manager of the ReStore. “Some of these houses that we're working on here have a lot of antiques in them."

Volunteers said that while it was sad to see the homes being destroyed, they were happy to be able to help the city move forward.

“These are some pretty neat homes and it's sad to see them being boarded up and torn down,” said volunteer Steve Nelson. “But I guess that's what the city decided to do, so we'll try and do what we can to help out the community and get it done."

All proceeds from the ReStore will go toward building three new homes in Mason City this year, meaning for Habitat organizers, it's as much about tearing down old homes as it is about building new ones.

“The city has been great allowing us to salvage these homes,” Lewerke said. “We try to keep as many items out of the landfill also, and the city has kind of been on the same page with us there. It's a win-win for everybody."

So far, Habitat for Humanity has salvaged between 80 and 90 homes, but the city is set to tear down another nine homes in the next two to three weeks.

Officials with Habitat for Humanity hope to salvage as many as possible and they say they can always use more volunteers.

To contact Habitat for Humanity of North Central Iowa, call (641) 424-8978 or visit http://www.habitatnci.org/