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Spring Valley flood survivors returning home ahead of hotel voucher deadline

Spring Valley flood survivors begin returning home ahead of hotel voucher deadline
Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 12, 2024

SPRING VALLEY, Calif. (KGTV) - A week before hotel vouchers are set to come to an end, some Spring Valley flood survivors are starting to move back home, as they near the finish line for their rebuild.

“The cabinets still need to be done, the cabinet doors put in,” said Keirington Pankey.

The kitchen is the final project in a rebuild that's taken its toll on Pankey's family of nine.

“It’s been frustrating, tumultuous,” said Pankey.

Pankey remembers vividly how it started, on that January morning.

“My sister-in-law was in one room, in shock, her feet covered with water," said Pankey.

ABC 10News has been following their recovery ever since. Pankey's father is an amputee veteran, battling heart and kidney failure.

We've also been there for their sometimes frustrating and confusing journey with temporary housing. Their hotel vouchers, like many others, are set to end on June 21.

Pankey admits some days have been overwhelming, but he's leaned on his family and other survivors for support.

“My family, we just came together and we each had our own part to do,” said Pankey. “Speaking to other families, just knowing we’re not the only one … the comradery kept us going and thriving.“

Pankey says his family received about $20,000 in FEMA funding, far short of the cost of the rebuild. He says they had to go with an option offered to flood victims: an SBA loan, for $157,000.

“We had no choice. It’s a second mortgage. Lower interest but, but it’s added cost onto everything else,” said Pankey.

But, because of that loan, the rebuild is nearing an end.

Pankey is now staying at the house, with the rest of his family moving back next week.

“There is comfort. There is relief being home,” said Pankey.

The rest of his family will return home sometime next week.

“We are looking forward to peace of mind, a tranquil life moving forward,” said Pankey.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help the family with the cost of the rebuild.