KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man is dealing with the aftermath of a flooded home. Tuesday’s heavy rain damaged much of Williammichael Shaw’s property, leaving him to his own devices.
Shaw moved into his new apartment complex on 6200 N. Broadway Street just two months ago.
“It left me in a sense of instability and practically in fear,” Shaw said. “For me, it was scary because I’m disabled. I don’t drive, I don’t know where to go and all of this is happening to me.”
Shaw was born with a genetic disease that requires him to rely on crutches and makes everyday tasks more difficult. His condition also makes him allergic to mold and dust, which has started to form around the house. It causes his entire body to swell and, in worst cases, can lead to death.
“I was pretty much at the mercy of, you know, the kindness of my neighbors,” Shaw said. “The water is gushing in by the gallons every second, but there’s nothing I can do but stand in water.”
Shaw felt sheer fear while standing there and watching everything he owns being submerged in water, but he was even more afraid to try and step outside at the thought that the flood could overwhelm him.
“I feel vulnerable, it leads to vulnerability because it is showing me what can and will happen again," Shaw said.
Neighbors say a nearby creek quickly rose when the storm began and flooded the apartment complex’s parking lot. The hardest hit were residents on the first floor.
Stacy Timmons, an upstairs neighbor, came to Shaw’s rescue during the flood. She has been offering him a place to stay and food to eat.
“People have got to be prepared to step up and say, ‘Okay, I might end up liable for this, but their life is more important than me being liable for this,'" Timmons said.
Shaw’s biggest concern is something like this happening again. But even through the darkest moments, a neighbor’s love is pulling him through.
“I want to give all those who have extended themselves to me and to this situation a great big thank you,” Shaw said.