Friday, June 13, 2008

Might have to leave Iowa

Things over here are not well. FEMA will be here tomorrow and I'm sure our entire area except those of us lucky to have bought homes on hills (like us) will be declared a disaster area.

Today was one of the worst. A couple major roads closed in Coralville, that is the town 1 mile to our North. I'm there everyday. Today apparently the entire couple roads flooded so bad that almost every business was destroyed in Coralville along 2nd St. and 1st Ave. The Iowa River runs next to it and destroyed everything next to it, including a beautiful new Marriott hotel. Everyone evacuated today along with hundreds of homes.

I work at HyVee again once a week at night since it is summer and the children are home so I can't work during the day. Tonight was my night to work. I arrived to the store okay, but was sure a road near my home would be closed on the way home since while working we had nearly 6 inches of rain and it's STILL RAINING. But luckily for me I got home, but the water was all the way up to the bridge. I wouldn't be surprised if by morning the bridge washes out over by my bank.

I received an e-mail earlier yesterday and was told to come get all my stuff out of my safety deposit box and move it to another branch. They are sure they will loose the bank. Today there was a huge moving truck at Hills Bank and employees were literally running stuff out of the bank onto the truck.

My heart is sad tonight, I cried as I filled up the tank in the van. All $81.20 of it. I'm standing there in the parking lot crying. It all hit me. I guess for one reason I haven't filled the van up with gas in over a year. We usually put $20 in and call it good. I only filled it tonight because our Bishop wrote everyone today and said to make sure we all have emergency supplies ready, extra perscription medicine, bags packed, gas tanks full and plenty of water. The devastation is horrible nearby and it's so hard to see.

While pumping the gas tonight at least 20 Army trucks drove by, then tons of regular pick up trucks, red cross trucks and so on for quite a while. That's when I lost it. The flooding is right here, not in our neighborhood or on our street, but within a mile in one direction and within 2 miles in all other directions. I-80 and I-380, both of our major freeways out of here are closing within the week.

I'm thinking that if it gets much worse we are going to have to leave Iowa for a while and live with family in another state. That is if the power goes. It has gone in Coralville (1 mile North), Cedar Rapids (20 minutes North) West Branch (5 minutes East of here) and many other places. If we loose our power we won't do well for more than a few days and I don't want to wait until there's no way out.

I called Pampered Chef today and told them about the situation here. You can get a special leave of absense if your area is declared a disaster area from FEMA . I'm sure it will be since FEMA is coming tomorrow. This way I won't have to worry about parties for a while and it won't count against me. It's weird because for the first time in 10 years I just couldn't book up June. The shows I did book cancelled because of the flooding. I just couldn't understand it, now I do. People are just so worried and so sick about all this in all towns. I don't know how long it will take to turn this all around. It's crazy and it keeps raining.

Every other day it rains and it is hard core rain.

Today I was at the fairgrounds to help with Brenden's Day Camp for Scouts. It rained all day. Tornado watches all day. the children were stuck under pavillions all day. It was miserable, muddy, stinky and sad. Then in a pavillion nearby I started seeing all these pets show up. Car after car coming by and dropping off pets. I asked what was going on. The Humane Society moved in to the fairgrounds and anyone who has lost their home or has to evacuate who has pets can bring them there. Very sad to see an elderly couple dropping off all their birds and their dog and crying as they did so.

So anyway, YES We are all alright, but so many of my friends are not and so many people I know are displaced and have fled their homes. My heart is hurting.


Katy Bug! said...

I don't know what to say. This whole ordeal is terrible. I know that we all will be praying for you and everyone out there. I am so very happy that you are all safe and I hope that you stay that way no matter what happens.

Jess and Jen said...

Man, what a crazy experience. When I was serving in SW Iowa on my mission, the town I was living in was closed off due to flooding -- all roads in and out were covered (the Nishnabotna River in 1998). But that only lasted one day and the damage was minimal. I can't imagine having a flood an order of magnitude worse and the real fear of the unknown as to what's going to happen next.

Good luck! -Jess

Jess and Jen said...

I am so glad your house and belongings will at least be safe, even if you lose power.. What about where Jason works - is it on a hill too - is he able to go to work each day? I'm glad you wrote about this. I see it on the news, but it's so different, and makes it so much more real (and sad) when we I read what you guys are going through! We sure hope this stops soon.


Papa Doc and the Duke said...

Your description of the problem is very vivid. I can feel your emotions through what you write. I am sorry for you and for all of the unfortuanate people who are suffering even greater devistation.

The thing that has me worried is the injury to so much crop and agicultural land. We depend on that for so many things. What will be the consequences of this coupled with the other problems, like the eighty dollar tank of gas, that there are right now?

Yes, we had better do what we can to prepare.

Dad Clark

Papa Doc and the Duke said...

Oh my heart hurts for everyone out there. I knew you were going to get more rain from the storm that passed through here. It makes our complaints about lots of snow all winter long seem so shallow! I looked through all the sites you posted yesterday to get a better feel for what was going on and it horrified me.
Last night I read about the scout camp in northwest Iowa that was hit by a tornado and immediately wondered if your boys would have gone there. That made my heart even sicker. What sadness is there in your state.
Yesterday I placed an order through a company in Flora, IN - not far from Layfette. I asked her about the flooding there and felt a little more reassured about corn fields - most of the flooding there has been near Evansville. the Interstate has even been closed down there and she said that has never happened.
I am sooo grateful you are on a hill!
Take care -- keep those kiddos close by.
We love you and will pray for your family and all those who are suffering. Thanks for sharing what you did. It keeps our complaints to a minimum.
Mom C.

Jason said...

The flooding is getting worse today. Suddenly water is over roads and up against sand bags. A lot of major roads are now closed and people are having a difficult time finding a way into work. One of the women in our lab is being forced to evacuate her apartment. I rode my bike down by the river this morning and got some pictures. I will post them on our blog when I get home.

In spite of all of this, we are fortunate that the city was prepared for this kind of flood. Sandbagging efforts started early and were placed wisely. Although there is going to be a significant amount of property loss, there hasn't been any lives lost.

Team Clark said...

Oh, Michelle! I'm so sorry. And I can see why you just stood there and cried since it's hard not to cry just reading your post. We will pray for you and the people around you. Good luck with everything!

Mike and Adrianne said...

I am so sorry you guys! If you do have to leave, our house is always open. Chelsey probably lives closer but we are much drier! Anyway, hopefully that wouldn't happen. We love you. Be safe.

chelsey said...

Please, please please know your family is welcome to stay with us here in OH if you need or want to! I know your parents aren't far away from us, but know the invitation is there! We will be praying for you and your friends. Be safe!

Michelle said...

Thank you for all your invitations. I'm not sure what we will do yet. Right now we are safe and dry and I spent a good portion of the day doing emergency preparedness things such as:

1. Making sure both vehicles are filled to the brim with fuel

2. Filling the propane tank up so we have the grill to cook with if necessary.

3. Purchasing some extra food in case we need it or others who end up bunking here need it.

4. I bought Dry Ice so if the power goes we will get to preserve our food a bit longer than the 5 days and won't have to chomp down an entire freezer of food.

5. Bought more water than was probably necessary, but you never know.

6. Filled many empty containers with water around the house.

7. Did some laundry so I can be caught up just in case we have to pack and leave or the water gets shut off.

8. Bought wind up flashlights. (those are fun to play with by the way.)

So I'm feeling better for now. It is hard to watch the news which is a continuous thing on all three major channels. No programs are on at all. The arial footage is horrible looking, even worse than I thought.

We will stay here as long as we have power and can get around a little bit for necessary things. If things get worse then we will probably go West or South only because the Mississippi River is about to flood as well and may not be crossable in many areas. So I think Ohio is out of the question. Heck we need a vacation anyway! So not to get anyone too excited, but we may go either to Adrianne's or Mom and Dad Clarks.