Jul 17, 2008

Iowa Briefing

First let me say this: The Oklahoma feeding team got here today. This is one grateful chick.
Today was Day Four on job site; Day six, on trip. At 2:30 a.m. on the day of evacuation, Ms. Cross, a widow, found the police knocking on her door telling her to leave quickly. She didn't even pack, she just left thinking just her finished basement would flood and she'd be back in a day or two. She was wrong. The water reached 9 feet up along the side of her house and over her picture window, ruining her basement hideaway and her entire upstairs living area. As the waters receded, her basement collapsed.
Our job today was to scoop all the mud, furniture and personal belongings out (the house had been propped up and was secure). She was there the whole time, working just as hard as us, as was one of her good friends. She chose a few muddy glasses and mementos of her late husband's to save. She gave up many treasures and kept a smile on her face. (that's me in the hardhat)
Ms. Cross said many neighbors took off and never came back. Many returned and are working hard to restore their homes. Many returned and found their homes condemned. It was 10 days after the evacuation before most were allowed entry to their homes, ten days wondering if there was anything to salvage.
I am very impressed with the Cedar Rapids town leadership. Things are being run efficiently and in an organized fashion, debris doesn't sit on the curb for long and outhouses are on every other block or so and kept clean. Different gov't departments patrol and check on homeowners, assisting them, advising them. Salvation Army drives thru the neighborhoods with free food and drinks. There are volunteers from almost every state in America working in the neighborhoods. I found a church youth group from Oregon out there today helping Ms. Cross' neighbors.
The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief will move out on July 26. Until then, we have a lot of teams here doing a lot of different jobs. I am privileged and blessed to have been here. We leave Iowa tomorrow and make our way through all the cornfields and all the I states, back to Northside Baptist in Indianapolis for a sleepover. Back to Wagnolia on Saturday. See you soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

DUUUDE that lady is awsome!! That's gonna be me when I get old. Is that Ms. Cross?? The lady in the first pic with the boots.
She's got my style. she's awsome.