Six months after waters recede, CF still coping with June’s flooding

Linden Terpstra/Staff Writer
Six months have passed since the flood waters surged through the Cedar Valley, seizing and destroying homes, devasting many locals and leaving them homeless and without necessities.
The recovery trails what many residents consider the worst flood they can recall. Nearing the holiday season, many families are just returning to their lives after cleaning up or rebuilding their residence while continuing their frantic and busy lives.

Junior Alexis Richter is getting back on track after her home was undertaken by the June flood.
“My house’s basement was filled almost completely. I have a 10-foot basement and the water got up to 9-feet 8-inches,” Richter said. “We also had water about waist high in our garage, with a little on to the main floor. We lost everything in our basement—memories from when my brother and I were practically born. Even my mom and dad’s stuff from when they were younger.”

The road to recovery, though a long one, is showing significant progress.
“We were able to save pictures but not a single one went undamaged. We also went about to finish our basement and had all the drywall and lighting down in the basement,” Richter said.
“Things around here are pretty much back to normal. My family all has new (used) cars. The drywall and everything in the garage is back to normal. Now we just have a pretty empty basement.”

The Richter family plans to modernize this Christmas, spicing it up in their own way.
“My family is big into holiday decorating, and we lost all of that—Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentine’s Day—all of them gone. You never really realize all the things you have until, well, until it’s gone,” she said. “We lost all of our cars and about the only thing we saved were our clothes, which my grandma washed and washed all of them like it was her job. And our Christmas tree topper. We just made all new homemade Christmas decorations, and I think it looks awesome, especially with the saved tree topper.”

With many other families struggling through the holidays, the Student Senate is planning to assist with North Cedar Elementary in providing holiday gifts for the flood victims.
Faculty adviser Ryan Flaherty said he is pleased to be involved. “I think it’s a great thing. I am glad they decided to do it because the holidays are a really hard time for the people who are struggling,” he said.

He is keyed up about the unity between area schools. I really like it when it’s all of the schools working together: elementary, junior high and high schools,” Flaherty said.
Looking passed what she has been through, Richter said she is grateful for the support from all the community.

“I know of a lot of people who suffered from this flood. But I also want to thank everyone that helped and continues to help people affected by it,” Richter said. “The way it changed my life the most was learning to appreciate all the little blessings I have in my life like hot showers, electricity, cars and the list goes on and on. All of those things that I know everyone takes for granted.”

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