Posts Tagged ‘Mid-west flooding’

Our state has been wracked with tornadoes and heavy rains, something not uncommon for those in Florida and Texas and elsewhere. Our immediate area has been fortunate up to now, but our turn appears to be coming. I am reminded of 1993 which has to be one of the worst years of my fairly long life. I weathered the Depression as a child, WWII as a teenager, my years in the service and several lean and difficult years economically for our family. 1993 was the year of the 100 year flood (meaning we shouldn’t expect another like it for 100 years). It is now 15 years and we may well be experiencing another in many areas. We were in the Laundry and Dry Cleaning business with two locations within the flood prone area. The rains started in June, and the flood arrived on the Fourth of July night and both stayed with us for about 6 weeks.

Our town is a river town and floods have always been a threat and I have filled sandbags as a volunteer on a number of occasions but had not had our business locations seriously threatened. The whole town became a war zone with trucks hauling soil night and day for a week to build berms and levees. Several locations were stocked with sand and bags and nearly everyone worked daily to fill bags for their own use or to help others needing assistance. We sandbagged our own businesses daily and at night had to bag the drains and prepare for the time we would not be there. In the morning we would remove the bags so that customers could have access.

The reward for the hard work in our case was that our businesses were the busiest ever in our 16 years. It seemed the whole town had flooded basements, etc. and had to use our services. As well, we worked at least 2 1/2 shifts until nearly midnight doing laundry for the packing plant whose normal source for laundry was flooded, and other commercial businesses needing service, as well as the Red Cross. Our machines were busy all day by residential customers and we provided the commercial business at night. I’m sure that good wife, Pat and I have remarked many times that those 6-8 weeks were the hardest we worked in all our lives. With the 15 years added to our bodies since then, we could no longer begin to do what we did that year.

As mentioned, our town has been fortunate up to now. However, the rains and flooding up stream will now be coming our way and the call went out today for volunteer sandbaggers. We have two lakes and dams protecting us up river. Saylorville lake will be overflowing within 24 hours at a level equal to 1993. The city of Des Moines is closing all bridges tonight and expects downtown flooding from overflowing Saylorville thereafter. Further downstream, Lake Red Rock will begin releasing additional water tomorrow to make room for the water coming from Saylorville. We have been warned to expect flooding soon as the river is already over flood stage.

We all have our weather. We worry about hurricanes and fires in Florida for Tim and Merry, and now we can add concern for Joel, Blake, and Zoe in Houston. Steve, Julie, Jenna, and Ali, in Dallas, have tornadoes, flooding, and heat. We expect our home to be safe and hope Merry’s Mother’s home in Ottumwa, will be safe as well. Merry has a sister living in an area that will require evacuation. Hopefully all of us will endure. Stay tuned.

Gram and I were forced last Sunday evening to Dive! Dive! Dive! after tornado warnings were issued and finally the area sirens sounded the order to take cover. About 25 minutes later we received the all clear. The city was largely spared with the exception of numerous uprooted trees, downed wires, power outages, etc. A couple of homes received damage. Getting Gram to the basement was an experience in itself. Interestingly, it was the first time she had seen our new furnace, installed about a year and a half ago. Hence, the following depiction:


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