Devastating 2008 flood, lasting impact

Dusenberry recounts watching water fill her house

In June 2008, Cedar Falls endured one of the most massive floods it had ever seen. Hundreds of homes in Cedar Falls and Waterloo were completely underwater. With bridges being closed and neighborhoods underwater, people had to quickly evacuate their homes. Houses were destroyed or badly damaged. With the five-year anniversary coming up, senior Miranda Dusenberry looks back at how the flood of 2008 affected her.

Dusenberry and her family live right on the lake at George Wyth State Park. “We were always thinking our house will never flood. It will never happen because we live on top of a hill by the lake, so we thought we were fine. But watching the water flow into our house was unbelievable,”Dusenberry said.

The day of the flood in June, Dusenberry and her family watched the water in shock. They rushed to save everything in their basement. “I woke up in the morning and my family and I saw the water flowing over the dike.That whole morning we were just waiting and watching the water get closer and closer. Eventually throughout the day we were moving all our stuff to the upstairs. My brother’s bed was a sacrifice to the flood because we had to keep our couch on it,” Dusenberry said.

There was nothing that could stop the massive flood. Nothing could be done to save their basement. “Pretty soon throughout the whole morning, about four to five hours, we tried sandbagging our house, but the water just kept coming in. Our docks had floated away, and we had to keep moving our boats up closer and closer to our house as the water kept getting closer. Water was at our ankles downstairs,” Dusenberry said.

Later in the day, the water was rising even more in the house. “It was weird seeing all the debris that had floated up to our house, and pretty soon there was three feet of water in our basement. That doesn’t sound that bad, but when you think about all the floors and walls and our belongings, such as fridges and other memories that were in storage, all got ruined,” Dusenberry said.

Like many others during the flood, the Dusenberrys were trapped at their home. They were surrounded by water. “We all slept upstairs that night The next morning, my dad told me to get my things and pack because he was going to “send me away for he didn’t know how long, so I grabbed a bag, threw in some clothes and the DNR boated up to our deck because we couldn’t get out. We were trapped. He boated me to where a friend of mine could pick me up, and I was gone for about three days. I had to house hop,” Dusenberry said.

After about three days, the Dusenberrys could return to their home. They were just so grateful that the house wasn’t completely wrecked. “Somehow the water all drained out within a day.It was such a rush. It was kind of scary because we were hoping the structure of our house would stay strong. That would have been really sad if our house had been destroyed because we wouldn’t be able to rebuild in the same area and we would have to go move into town,” Dusenberry said.

Even though it was a tragic incident, Dusenberry looks on the bright side of the flood of 2008. “We had to get new carpet and new walls, but in the end it was kind of fine because it really allowed my family to get rid of all the stuff that piled up in the past years. It was just a clean out. I mean some things were sad because memories were washed away, but it allowed us to redo our basement since we live in an older house. That took awhile, and it was hard, but after months of rebuilding, it really paid off,” Dusenberry said.

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