TRINITY RIVER, TX (KTRK) --For the first time in eight months, Cody "Little Hawk" Swimmer can see the dry ground in his front yard. But a lot of his life at his Polk County home has been washed away.
"Everything was floating at one time," says Swimmer. Flooding from the Livingston Dam release and Trinity River has cost him a lot. It was one of the worst flooding years in two decades for those who live near the Trinity River.
"How long will it take you to recover from all this?" Eyewitness News reporter Christine Dobbyn asked.
"I don't know if I can. I'm already in debt for supplies fronted to me after the first," Swimmer replied.
The Cherokee Native American lives off the land.
"I have people all the time say, well you don't look like an Indian," he said. "What does an Indian look like?"
He gathers what he can find to make his finely crafted art he sells at Pow Wows. Mildew set in after the flood, tools were damage, costing his tens of thousands of dollars in supplies.
"They molded, got soaking wet and I didn't even know it," he said. "And the music stopped for the world traveling musician he says, "I had to cancel shows which was lost income."
Cody is a known fighter for Native American rights. This past year he's kept the fight close to home.
"I don't have the money to continue rebuilding," he added.
Friends set up a GoFundMe page to help him return to his life on the land. One day, one note, on his flute at a time.
For more information on the account set aside to help him, CLICK HERE.