Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Flooding: Today we won't just talk about service, we will go out and do it.

The text came early Sunday Morning from our Church Bishop.  Church services were cancelled.  Overnight the river had overflown and flooded about 15 homes in our community.  Our beloved Bishop said , "Today we are not going to just talk about service, we are going to go out and serve. "  He instructed us to go help our community members in need.
So my daughter and I donned our rain boots and came armed with shovels and buckets.  These boots were so essential; everyone should have a pair.  Many came with just tennis shoes. 
We got to the scene and soon realized that there wasn't enough work yet.  The heavy equipment hadn't come on scene yet.  They needed to suck out water out of the homes and yards, before we could get in there to haul away things.  There were lakes in front of and in back of their homes and lakes inside their homes.  Thirty sheep were lost in the floods.  Another 30 homes in our general community were flooded.  A trailer park was flooded and people were evacuated by boats.
So we went home and baked for several hours.  We knew that people would be hungry.  We made about 10 dozen cookies.
When we got back to the scene, the road was blocked off, so that the heavy equipment could do their work.  All of the labor and machinery was donated, and people were happy to be of assistance.
We mainly hauled away wrecked items. We hauled away sheetrock and insulation.   We sandbagged.  People were there trying to save what they could and were washing off items.  Mostly, if it was in their basements, it was a total loss --- photos, genealogy, wedding dresses.  One of the men I knew (our LDS Stake Patriarch) had his home flooded and he was going around with a smile.  I told him how sorry I was, and he replied, "It is just things, but I wish I had flood insurance."
The young were there to help as well as the old. 
There was no waiting around for the government to help.  It was just neighbors helping their neighbors.  Women from the community brought food, as well as the Red Cross.
The news agency from 2 hours north came to report.  This is my daughter to the right and a family friend.
People worked and worked and even worked when it began to hail and rain again.
I could have taken pictures that showed the devastation more clearly, but out of respect for their loss, I didn't.
This is the community that I have lived in for the past seven years.  I cried when I moved here and I will cry when I will leave in two weeks.  I am moving to a much larger community where I will miss this kind of community spirit.


La Table De Nana said...

How touching..really ..truly.

Bonnie said...

Such a sweet post Joni. I thought of you when I saw the news. I hope all is well with your home. I'm sure the community will miss all of you too when you are gone. You will love your new area as well, because you made a great life where you were. You take that spirit of community and kindness with you and will bring it wherever you go and enrich the lives of your new friends and neighbors. I am so happy you can all be together again. It's been a long time coming.

Lynn said...

Wow, so nice that you could all come together and help out:@)

Debbie said...

Around here we call that "God with His Skin on". That's what you and your whole community were, and what a way to glorify Him. I'm so sorry for the loss of those people, and today I'll lift them for a supernatural peace as they begin to rebuild.

I can tell that I would like your bishop very much. It was indeed a day to not just talk about serving. Well done.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Hi Joni, So sorry about the tough times. It's a blessing to see all of the people coming together to help. I wish you well with your move. How sweet to make that many cookies. Enjoy your Halloween header...Hugs, Linda

Jacqueline said...

How wonderful to be able to help each other. We hadn't even heard of the flooding! What a mess to clean up but how nice to be able to help each other. Great Sunday activity that will be remembered a lifetime. I am sure that the cookies were loved.

Jacqueline said...

OH, after Linda's comment I went back to notice your Halloween Header! Love, love, love it! She is so great!

Sarah said...

Joni, my heart goes out to those in your community who have lost so much. Bless you and your family and the others who jumped into action to help those in need.
Are you moving to the east coast? Love the Halloween header. ~ Sarah

Sue said...

You are awesome, Joni! You were ready with your boots and then your cookies...ready to lighten the load for others. I guess I was very lucky to only have the heavy rain detour me to a much longer route from Cedar City to my home. Little did I realize, that while my grandkids were having a blast playing on their flooded "raging rapids" street, that it was wreaking havoc elsewhere.
Blessings to you and your family in your new home.

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

Very touching Joni. I just noticed this post and want to wish you and family the best with your move!