Community comes together to help victims of thunderstorm

By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
enorwood@pntonline.com

Floyd residents Ben and Roxie Pritchett are recipients of community goodwill, as family, neighbors and friends banded together this week to help rebuild their home damaged in last Friday’s storm.

A volunteer workforce of 27 people arrived early at the Pritchett’s that following Saturday, not counting the few who stayed at home and prepared a large meal for the volunteers. People continued to visit and help through the week.

“We had enough food to feed a whole army,” said Ben Pritchett.

Eric Norwood Jr: Portales News-Tribune From left, Patrick Rogers, Ben Pritchett, Will Fair and Aaron Goodwin begin repairs to the roof of Ben Pritchett’s house on Wednesday.

Eric Norwood Jr: Portales News-Tribune
From left, Patrick Rogers, Ben Pritchett, Will Fair and Aaron Goodwin begin repairs to the roof of Ben Pritchett’s house on Wednesday.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune Will Fair, top, and Aaron Goodwin, climb to the roof in the backyard of the Pritchett’s house to begin repairs.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune
Will Fair, top, and Aaron Goodwin, climb to the roof in the backyard of the Pritchett’s house to begin repairs.

The Pritchetts lost their roof in a thunderstorm mixed with high winds. Ben Pritchett estimate the damage was estimated at $75,000. There was also insulation and sheetrock scattered inside from where the roof had caved in.

There was 4 inches of water in the house, and the Pritchetts lost clothing, furniture, and electronics, among other things. However, the main structure of the house is still intact.

The couple was spending time with their daughter-in-law and five of their grandchildren late Friday evening when the storm rolled in.

“We heard a loud noise like a helicopter, and then we saw all the metal from the roof blow away,” said Ben Pritchett.

Fortunately for the Pritchetts, they have another small house on their property that wasn’t damaged and were able to seek shelter there through the night.

The group who came to help cleaned debris, moved salvaged items, and put tarp on the roof.

“We worked for about nine hours,” says Will Fair, 13, nephew of the Pritchetts.

Afterwards, the group met at Floyd Baptist Church to enjoy a large meal cooked by members of the community.

“Everyone was awesome. We’re just so grateful,” said Roxie Pritchett.

Neighbor Bruce Hinrich, who lives about a mile south of the Pritchetts, talked to them the night of the storm and also brought them breakfast the next morning.

“They were going through a tough time.  Everybody was just trying to help out,” said Hinrich.

Ben Pritchett began building the house three years ago, with the help of his family. They had only been living in it for six months.

“It’s unfortunate, but I’m just glad everyone was safe,” says Roxie Pritchett.

According to Ben Pritchett, the house should take about 90 days to reconstruct, and all week community and family members have dropped by to make themselves useful.

“Well, that is the beauty of living in a small community,” said Hinrich.  “Everyone is willing to help out.”

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