Roanoke, VA - The worst of the flooding is over in Roanoke. But, for one Roanoke City Police Officer and his girlfriend, the work is just beginning.
Patrick Perkins and Brittany Dickerson have been sifting through thousands of dollars of ruined furniture, electronics and clothes after their basement completely flooded in Wednesday's torrential downpours.
But Perkins says the flooding has taken so much more than just material possessions.
"This was full of pictures of the family, my medals" said Perkins, looking through what's left in his flooded basement.
Perkins picks up the pieces that flooding left behind.
Flood waters barreled into his basement, ripping windows and doors from their hinges. Water covered the basement from corner to corner.
"It was a really really nice, humble house" he said.
You can see the five and a half foot water line that now runs around his basement wall.
"This is where we're at now. We're down to about three inches of water in certain places, the mud's covered everything" he said.
Like Perkins' Army service medals, his training certificates as a Roanoke Police Officer; his proudest possessions.
"It's our whole life. I built this area; I put my entire life on this wall. From the military to my police department, I was so proud of my service to my country, I'm proud of my service to the city, and this was my bragging rights, this is where I could show everybody, this is what I do for a living" he said.
"It hurts my heart deeply, because I know it's his pride and joy, and because it's his, it's mine" said Perkins' girlfriend, Brittany Dickerson.
Perkins has received an outpouring of support. A camper lent to him by a friend now sits in his driveway; a water pump was given to him from an anonymous donor.
But this service member isn't letting these acts of kindness go unnoticed.
"They've come out to me and given me water, clothing, food, I feel guilty for it. The only way I could pay that back at the moment is to go back out there and serve them" said Perkins.
Upon discovering that his home was flooded, Perkins headed back out to work as a Roanoke City police officer; he said there were too many others that needed his help.