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Nonprofit Team Rubicon helps families dig out from major storm flooding

Families impacted by Tropical Storm Hilary continue to dig out from the excess mud and debris. Many have gotten help from outside organizations like the international nonprofit Team Rubicon, which is doing much of the heavy lifting.

Team Rubicon is helping those impacted in the Panorama Park neighborhood in Cathedral City, where several homes got severely flooded with feet of mud and debris.

Chunmei Xu moved into the neighborhood seven months ago. Her home is now almost unrecognizable from the inside due to all the mud rushing in. Team Rubicon volunteers have been helping her clean out her house.

"When they come in, I feel I'm not lonely. I'm not being forgotten... "I was scared, and you know, I don't have friends. I don't have family," said Xu. "I tell my family in China that American people are great, you know. They really helping me out a lot and making things really different."

Volunteers like veteran Diane Hansen are shoveling out the mud, gutting the homes, and prepping them for renovations. 

"A lot of it's just hard physical carrying wet, nasty, dangerous mud and things out. So there's a lot of help with that," said Hansen. "I can provide sympathy, and I can also do something tangible for you."

There are 24 volunteers, a mix of veterans and civilians. One house is cleaned out, multiple are in the works, and 10 more have yet to be started. 

"When the homeowner is ready to rebuild, then they're ready to just go in and get it done," said Hansen.

Team Rubicon will be helping the affected residents until September 8.

If you want to volunteer with Team Rubicon or donate to their mission, you can learn how to do so on their website.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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