Friday, May 8, 2009

Flood Aftermath











On my way to the clinic this morning to get my Holter monitor removed, I traveled down along the river on one of the newly opened, dike-free roads.  It meanders down along the river, under the highway bridge and connects to the streets that carry me to the grocery store, my mom's house, and even the little clinic I go to.  Its been the first time I travelled it since the flood as the part of the road under the bridge goes completely under water when it floods.

So what I haven't witnessed, is how all the houses along the river fared.  Since its spring clean-up week in our town, you are allowed to drag any and all junk out to the curb.  Its not uncommon to see washing machines, stoves, outdoor furniture in disrepair, couches, and junk in general.  

What I wasn't prepared for were the houses along the river that had suffered damage.  I took a SMALL sample of pictures to show you what I saw house after house.  People literally lost a good portion of their house.  At first I saw piles of carpet which may mean an inch or two of water.  But then came the stacks of drywall, the washing machines and the dryers, the beds

And then the one that broke my heart.  The house stacked with all the children's toys.  And cribs and walkers and high chairs.  While we have had tons of people come pick through and take a lot of the items we placed out on the curb, everyone knows the stuff that has been touched by contaminated waters gets left alone.

But the full effect of all that damage, was very sobering and humbling to see.  I know some of these people have battled that river in the spring for years and not lost yet, until this year.  With the dump trucks rumbling past our house carrying the clay material from the dikes away, we otherwise have very little tell-tale signs of what we went through just a couple short months ago.

For a lot of people though, their lives are still in shambles.  The contents of their house strewn all about in their yards, looking displaced, tattered and covered in slimy filth.  

I noticed how much the river has gone back down. I took the last two photos from my car as I drove back under the bridge. And underneath the dried river bottom on the grass and trees, the green grass is springing up, lush and unphased. The deer will return shortly along with the rabbits and dandelions, and it'll be hard to tell the area was once fraught with the sheer force of mother nature.


Upon returning home I found the work beginning in my own neighborhood. The trucks are lined up again hauling away the dirt and clay and giving us back our bike path. It won't be long and we'll awake to the sounds of early am conversations between those out for a jog or walk, instead of the ever present dump truck lullaby we've grown so accustomed to.


12 comments:

  1. We've had damage like this here in LA too. It makes me so grateful that we haven't had to go through this ourselves...but it is heart breaking to think of the loss of others. Kind of brings the meaning of "There but for the grace of God I go"!

    Hey - just let me know when you want me to come and clean. I'm really good and throwing other peoples stuff away! Just send me a ticket - and I prefer to fly first class:-D

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  2. Wow Vicky. I'm SOOO thankful to God you are not one of those who would be throwing almost everything you have to the curb AND facing a damaged house. It was so close. I pray lots of people move in to help them recover. Libby WOULD be great at this!

    BUT BUT BUT....how are YOU? Did they give you any feedback? Probably not. They usually just say that now they have to download the info and analyze it. But keep us posted on your day-to-day health. OH! These truly are TENTS we dwell in! And they leak! Well, that might be getting a little personal so I'll stop while I'm ahead!

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  3. Libby, You may throw away all that you want :) Just wait till you see the play room filled with toys! I may just have enough miles to make first class work, so watch out, you'll be on your way in no time to Mn!

    Robynn, no feedback yet. I see the heart doctor end of next week and I'll be sure to let you know. I actually feel pretty well :) Yes, let the leaking begin!! Hope you are better girl!

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  4. Ugh... I just hate flooding. It takes families so long to fix their homes, if they aren't so contaminated they have to start from scratch. Do be careful breathing around the areas that have been flooded; it's phenomenal what that water contains.

    I'll be praying for those families tonight as I lay my head on my clean pillow in my safe home.

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  5. I popped in to see how you are and geez! what a mess and to have to drag all this outside is such a hard job to do.
    Knowing this area gets flooded means the city should look into digging deep cemented trenches and covering them with iron grills so kids don't fall in.
    If I was Mayor I'd sure be looking into this.

    Keeping good thoughts and sending you blessings and wishing you a Happy Mom's Day tomorrow.
    :)

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  6. The aftermath of any disaster is horrible but they aee alive.

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  7. We have and are experiencing flooding, but not to the extent of these pics. I will be praying for each family!
    Hope your tests come back OK!
    Thanks for the Bday wishes for MoCo!

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  8. Hey Gitz, I think you are right in warning about the air. Its been sort of wet and cool in general, so I wouldn't be surprised if the mold allergens run really high.

    Hi A.L.L, the city is in a planning phase to figure out the best kind of permanent flood protection possible. There are many different ways to either divert it or build up around it but there are pros and cons to both. But its in the works :) Happy Mother's Day to you too! I get results next week hopefully and I'll let you know.

    Dr. John, absolutely, I agree. I still have great compassion for the high level of stress these people are dealing with. For so many of us, we've moved past. But these people are still in a nightmare and I do feel for them :)

    Thanks Missy :) Everyone is so appreciative of the ongoing outside care and support! Its been great. MoCo is adorable! I just love his "birth" story!!

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  9. Oh that was a shock to see that Vicky.A disaster happens but then there is the aftermath while people are trying toget their lives back together. I hope they were fully insured. And its a great thing that lives are in tact. Still it rocks the community to the core. Take Care and thanks for sharing the pictures.

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  10. The feeling of sadness is indescribable. That is what I found when I had the opportunity to photograph the Australian bushfires that happen 20 minutes from my home. We lost whole towns, totally burnt to the ground. It’s very real when something like this happens in your own town. It takes a long time to recover from physically and emotionally for all the victims.

    I hope you doctor’s appointment went well.

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  11. Thanks Lilly, for all of your encouragement and support!

    Liss, Lilly posted about the fires and how dreadfully devastating they were!! My heart goes out to all of you! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  12. amazing.... I guess that is one way to clean out the basement (tasteless I know!)

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