The key to her dreams, and to her new home

June 17, 2019

Ms. Martha Lafebre, flood survivor and client of the Manhattan Long Term Recovery Committee, had been waiting for this moment much too long.

She reminisced about her daughter’s frantic phone call saying, “Mom, leave your apartment now. I am watching the news, and I can see the water coming up fast around your apartment building!”

Martha remembers running through her apartment, grabbing as many things as she could hold and opening her door to a parking lot filling with water. By the time she got to her car, the water was already up on her tires and she could see it continuing to rise. Martha said she opened the door and prayed. As she turned the key, the car started. She said she drove and kept driving, even though the water had reached the car doors. She was unsure if her car would float.

Martha prayed and kept praying. “I just kept driving and never looked back,” she said, and she remembers thinking, “Drive Martha, just drive.” To this day Martha fears driving back into that parking lot, so she decided to look for a new home – one far from slow running creeks that look so beautiful during leisurely summer walks.

Having lived in a hotel since escaping her apartment on Labor Day of 2018, Martha finally moved into a new home in January of 2019. Deb Abner, disaster relief and recovery coordinator for Catholic Charities of Northern Kansas, was there to capture Martha opening the door to her new place for the very first time. If you look closely you will see a small key, the key to Martha’s dreams coming true.

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