A family of seven forced out of their home

By Laura Ann Sills - email

Sumter County, GA (WTVM) - A family of seven is forced out of their home after it suddenly floods.

The Martinez family is forced to load up their belongings on a trailer attached to a tractor.

A wet winter set the stage for the quick flood.

"We've had a lot of roads that have been damaged and washed out and stuff due to the extensive amount of rain," says Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith.

Sheriff Smith says in just one day the water crossed the front door threshold and kept the family from getting their car out.

The American Red Cross works to help families like the Martinez household when faced with disaster.

Leisa Cross is the Executive Director of the Middle Flint District American Red Cross, she explained, "this is the last thing they expected to happen, its in a field, not a creek running by here and so they probably don't have insurance."

Whether you're a renter or a home owner Cross says the best advice she can give is to keep up with your insurance.

"Most of the time right now the first thing people are letting go in this economy is their insurance."

The Red Cross will help the family get through this first week, supplying them with clothes, food, and a dry place to stay.  The ARC receives no funding from the government and Cross says, "We are in desperate need of donations because that is what we rely on - donations from the American people."

The rain is expected to continue throughout this week making the Martinez family's situation even worse.  If you would like more information on how you can help families like them click here.

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