Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The weekend update

Went to CR this weekend. I'd been planning to go since we were there on the 1st. Considered not going because of the flooding. But they opened I380 back up so I decided to make the trip.

The entire agenda of the weekend was to spend time with Jr and the baby. And spend time with the baby is EXACTLY what I did. Got to see my brother, SIL, and baby Rachel as well. It was a perfect way to spend the weekend. I'll have to post pics later. He's such a cutie. :) I might be biased though.

Regarding the flood - It is so sad. Depressing actually. Driving from Marion to Elvis' through town on Friday night was the eeriest, most surreal moment. From H Avenue to Wilson Ave (nearly 2 miles) the only lights you saw were the hospital. Quaker was dark. The apartments were dark. The neighborhoods were dark. Alliant Energy (the electric company) was dark. The bridges were dark. For about 2 miles, there was only the occasional street light or blinking stop light. It was just flat out eerie. You never know how many lights there are until they all go dark.

Drove through downtown, Czech Village, Taylor neighborhood, and the flats. It's so sad. Everywhere you look there is nothing but devastation. Then there are the piles. Imagine everything in your house piled by the curb. Throw dirt on it. Then hose it down until it can't take up any more water. Everything becomes undistinguishable. It's all just a pile of wet, brown garbage. The same "stuff" you spent your lifetime accumulating. Now diminished to wet, brown garbage.

You can see the look of defeat in people's faces as they take yet another load to the curb. It'll take months just to haul everything to the landfill. The "new" landfill that has now had it's life expectancy cut in half due to the sheer quantity of newly mudded wet, brown garbage. At least in a tornado's aftermath, you can sift through and salvage most of your "stuff". In a fire it all is disposed of for you. Not much to take to the landfill. But this. This is blocks and blocks of wet, brown everything that had to be hauled armful after wheelbarrow full after arm full to the curb. And then when you are done, you still have to clean up and pull drywall and hope that your insurance will replace at least some of what is gone. It's overwhelmingly sad.

SIL keeps talking about waiting in line for assistance. So many lines. So many phone calls. So much red tape.

SIL's house looks to be repairable. There is still a little water in the basement. And all of her wet, brown possessions are at the curb. But in Rompot, everything has a different smell than the rest of the city. Apparently the sewer came up before the river came over. So the whole neighborhood smells like dried sewage. Wet, brown, sewer smelling garbage. It's unfathomably sad.

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