Football players help homeowners clean flood damage

Stoddard, WI (WXOW) – Some Vernon County communities are drying out; however, even though the water is gone, a muddy mess is left behind.

For homeowners who have experienced flood damage, cleaning up can be a daunting task.

"It’s like they just stand there in awe, because they don’t know where to turn," said Carol Helgerson, a Chaseburg native helping her son clean up his house in Stoddard. "They don’t even know where to start. You just have to have help to get started. You have to have someone to come and help you get started."

Residents on Mallard Lane in Stoddard got that helping hand on Thursday morning.

"You see so many people that just drive by and look, but nobody stops of course," said Helgerson. "They’re probably on their way to work or whatever. When you see something like this, these people coming, it’s just wonderful."

Members of the UW-La Crosse Football Team and De Soto High School Football Program did everything from shovel mud to wash down furniture.

"It’s just a good thing to do," said Riggin Beck, a senior at De Soto High School. "They supported us with our football field, and we just decided to help give it back by helping with clean up."

"It’s nuts. I’m getting my feet caught in the mud. My hips are coming out. Everything’s crazy," said Jake Krueger, a member of the UW-La Crosse Football Team. "I’m covered in mud, obviously, but it’s a great time helping out."

Although the goal was to help others, the football players say they are the ones that left feeling rewarded.

"That’s what it’s all about for these guys. Just being around your teammates, helping other people out. It’s times like this they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives," said Brandon McKandes, an assistant coach with the UW-La Crosse Football Team. "When they’re covered in mud head-to-toe just helping people out."

Local communities continue to rally together to prove that their support for one another is deeper than any flood.

"We just want to let the community know that we’re there for them, and if they ever need anything, that we’ll drop our hat," said McKandes. "Drop whatever we’re doing especially in times like this when they can’t control the situation that we’re there for them."

Vernon County Emergency Management urges residents or business owners with flood damage to report it to 211 or call the Damage Assessment line at 608-637-5294.

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