Historic Floods

by Alex Stradal While it was unfortunate to be called in to respond to a disaster during our winter break, it was ultimately a very formative experience. Officials were calling for the flood to be on par with the flood of 1993, and by all accounts of the residents in Fenton and Arnold, it was. The first day was a whirlwind of events wherein we set up a VRC in Fenton, then dispatched half the team to Arnold to assess the damages there. It was a very long day, but was very rewarding to know that we most likely saved a family’s house from ruin. Yesterday, the 30th was, for me, an even more rewarding day. Tasked with scouting the area for families in need I came across a family working alone. I asked if they needed help and the father said that they sure did: he had a broken wrist and two cracked ribs, his wife was tiring quickly, while his son was also in physical distress with a thrown out back. I told the family I would be back in a few hours with more people; they were elated. One of the volunteers I came back with had an engineering degree and was an expert at building walls, while all the others were eager to get to work. Soon our numbers swelled to twelve volunteers as neighbors came out to help of their own volition. In a matter of four hours we made 2200 sandbags and constructed a formidable wall. I left their property at eight o’clock and headed back to the VRC for pack out and was hoping that this wall would actually work out for them.