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Louisville JCC assesses damage after flood wreaks havoc in city

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 4 (JTA) — Louisville’s Jewish Community Center was severely damaged by flood waters this week after more than 10 inches of rain fell in the city in less than 24 hours. Major thoroughfares were turned into roaring rivers and several neighborhoods were turned into lakes on Saturday. Two deaths were attributed to the flooding in the city, and thousands fled their homes as sewers backed up mixing with the rainwater. At the peak of the flooding, water in the lowest part of the JCC reached 12 feet deep, buckling floors, saturating carpets and ruining equipment. The cafe, the only kosher restaurant in the city, was affected, as was the building’s gym. The JCC was nearing completion of a $1.5 million expansion, built in partnership with the Jewish Hospital. The new facilities were damaged as well. Total damage estimates were not available. “We greatly appreciate the offers of help that are coming in from all parts of the community,” said Howard Schultz, executive director of the JCC. Because of the flood damage, the nutrition program that provides 50 to 80 hot kosher meals each day to senior citizens was moved to a nearby Orthodox synagogue. Other JCC programs have been relocated temporarily. The Council of Jewish Federations is helping the community by accepting donations through a mailbox at the Council of Jewish Federations Disaster Relief Fund, 730 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10003-9596. The Louisville Jewish community also is offering assistance to others affected by the flood. The Jewish Community Federation, in cooperation with its community relations council and five local synagogues, are collecting supplies as well as cash in a special Purim shalach manot campaign. They are also lining up volunteers to go into the affected areas to help with the clean up work. Jewish Family and Vocational Service is working with Metro United Way to provide counseling, free of charge, to families and children traumatized by the flood in the east end of the city.