CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Most of us have trudged through an unforgettable week of no water, no power, no heat and once again searching for groceries all while dealing with the bone chilling cold that we will never forget.
Many of our neighbors and friends stepped up and extended a hand, long before the disaster declarations were declared and long before FEMA or the Red Cross ever made it to the Texas border.
James Hunt went above and beyond to help his fellow Cedar Creek Lake (CCL) neighbors stay warm and repair water breaks this past week. An overwhelming amount of praise went out to Hunt across several Facebook pages for his unwavering dedication to supply free firewood that was in high demand so lake area citizens could stay warm. Hunt provided free chopped firewood to residents when the local market was tapped dry or marked up to a premium. He parked at several locations in the CCL area with free firewood and even provided his address with stacked firewood in his front lawn for residents to come and pick up. Hunt made quick plumbing repairs and delivered cases of water to those with children or who were elderly and couldn’t get out to pick it up themselves.
“Big cities have their organizations that help with stuff like this and neighbors helping neighbors. We had people like Brandon Adams and Jerry Hicks going all over Henderson County helping people that got stuck. They were doing this at all hours, day and night,” said Hunt. “I seen so many people helping one another for no other reason but to help. Truly amazing,” he said. “I love the people of Henderson and Kaufman County, so to everyone that I was able to and did help, I want to thank you. May God bless and prosper you in ways that you can’t even imagine,” Hunt said.
Brandon Adams repaired plumbing issues associated with the winter storm. He said in a Facebook post, “after so many people I met and water I got back on I really started to feel that community feel. Everyone was so grateful when I got back in the car I couldn’t wait to get to the next one. Felt good to share my knowledge and skill in fixing things,” said Adams. “I wish I could do more for each person but they understood that once the water was on, I was on my way to help the next person,” he said.
Business owners stepped up like Tammy Hosch of Texas Lake and Land Realty. Truck loads of groceries and water were available at Hosch’s realty office in Gun Barrel City. “Please head up, do not be shy! Get what you need and anything for your family/neighbors,” said Hosch. “If the needs exceed what we have, I will do my best to enlist help and offer again,” she said.
Other businesses like Bullet Car Wash opened their underground well to residents who needed water free of charge and First National Bank of Kemp provided a water trough filled with water from their irrigation pond. “It’s not drinkable water but will work great for flushing. We are working on getting a delivery tank set up to deliver around town to those who still don’t have water,” said their Facebook post. Cedar Creek Brewery also opened their doors and tanks to residents for water and Salon Euphoria in Mabank has offered a free shampoo and blowdry for lake area residents without water.
CCL friends and neighbors also helped in other ways. Paul and Tammy Zylman provided for their neighbor’s animals when their tractors wouldn’t start, gave eggs and food to those in need, shared water and offered water to those who were without and still worked as a first responder during the winter storm.
Michael Rowland and Jason Whiteley provided free firewood to residents in the CCL area and Jody Cernoch pulled a neighbor from his yard to a gas station to get gas after using his vehicle as their only heat source.
Henderson County Pct. 2 Scott Tuley, your kindness has not gone unnoticed to the community. Marc McClaskey Lakeside Collisions, Todd Russell Keller Williams Rockwall, Angie Harley Tuley Fathom Realty, Sandra Jarrett Ussery Fathom Realty, Joe and Geneva Garcia, Michael Scott US Health Advisors, Shelly Scott US Health Advisors, James and Carla Barina Barina Lawncare, Debby Bass and Patty Renfro, Terri Gregory Ebby Cedar Creek Lake, all are on standby with funds ready to donate generously to Payne Springs Fire Rescue for more pallets of water for the CCL community.
Gun Barrel City Fire Department and Kemp Fire Department has provided packages of water to the community also. Ben E. Keith donated six pallets of water to the Kemp Fire Department after Kaufman County had a bit of a struggle with FEMA to secure the pallets of water for the community.
So many people and businesses in our community helped their neighbors and even complete strangers, find gas, pull cars out of ditches, get generators back on, repair broken pipes, fix heating and air units, replenish firewood, find a hot meal, locate groceries that some of us wouldn’t have gotten through the last week without the combined efforts of community kindness.
To the people that helped and reached out to those in need, thank you. To those that need help, assistance is available. Reach out to your local city hall, fire department or call 2-1-1 to inquire about local resources.