Monday, August 08, 2011

A Summer of Storms

This summer has been crazy out here with the thunder storms. I have never known a wetter season in Utah. Our little neck of the woods has been hit especially hard, and one Sunday, a storm hit in just the right spot with just the right magnitude that caused quite the stir.

We were watching a movie when we heard it start to rain, and then heard the raining turn to pouring, and then heard the pouring turn into craziness. It was like looking into a wall of water. It was a very intense microburst that lasted about half an hour before it let back up into the pouring, and then the raining, and then the wet cloudiness that preceded the storm.

Here are some pictures of the aftermath. These were taken from the KSL news feed.

This is the storm front that caused the damage. A literal moving wall of water.

I took these from a friend down the street from me.

Here is one of the news segments. Our favorite Miss Mandy is in the blue hoodie, and the girls falling in the sink hole are in our ward.

This is what appeared in the newspaper. The picture features ward members.

As you can see, it was quite the event. We have a little over 100 houses in our ward boundaries, and 25 of them sustained damage. Once we bailed out our window well and ensured no more water would leak into our basement, we hit the streets with our buckets and shovels to see who needed our help.

It was amazing.

A lot of damage, but so much love. People were running everywhere trying to help their neighbors. Apparently, we were not the only ones who had thought to give assistance elsewhere. We joked about it being a spontaneous ward activity, but that isn't to say the assistance was given to only church members. We were all out there bailing buckets and shoveling mud and picking up shattered glass.

Once one house would get under control, a few would be chosen to finish it up while the rest moved on to the next residence in need.

It was amazing. Did I already say that? It's true. I have never felt so much love and neighborly concern in my life.

There are a lot of homes in our area that are empty due to foreclosures and short-sales, but that didn't keep us out. The Elders in the ward broke in to as many of those houses as possible to save them from damage, especially when they learned that the fire department was breaking windows to get into houses of that nature in other areas.

There was one house hit really bad- 2 feet of water in the basement- whose owners were out of town and would be for at least another week. Someone got in touch with them and got the OK to do what was needed while they worked on deciding how to proceed. We got into that house, sucked out all the water and found to our dismay that ALL her laundry was now covered in mud and dirty water, and a bunch of cardboard boxes marked "Stephanie's Childhood Memories", and "Stephanie's Scrapbooks", and "Special Old Photos" were soaked. Tragic.

While the men got to work getting mud and the rest of the water out, us women got to work trying to save the treasures. We dried off the photos and laid them out to be saved from damage and did what we could to salvage our ward sister's memories.

It was amazing. Such service. Such devotion. Such special care for a family who was not even present to offer help or thanks of any kind. I loved it. Is that weird?

When all the pictures and letters and awards and everything else was sorted and laid out to dry, we all went home taking a load or 3 of laundry to re-wash for the stricken and absent family.

That day of service was incredible, and it just deepened my love for this ward that I already felt was as close to Zion as possible. I love this area. I love these people. I don't necessarily love the drive to get out here, the cookie cutter homes, or the soil that refuses to let things be green- but all of that is MORE than worth the privilege to live among so many stalwart and loving saints.

I truly feel we are here for a reason, and I never want to leave. When the time comes for us to move on, it will be a very hard and painful decision. The people here are truly the disciples of Christ trying to live his gospel as best they can. I feel honored to be numbered among them, and hope to one day deserve such friends.


Sarah said...

Wow! I'm not sure I would believe how severe it was without the pictures. I envy you a little bit. Not having to deal with all that mess, of course, but having such great neighbors, and being such a good neighbor.

mostlyprobably said...

That is so awesome! I had NO idea how bad it was. I'm sorry for not being as good of a friend during that time as you needed, but I am grateful you and your neighbors and ward members all have each other and are so eager and willing to serve each other. Not sure my ward, as awesome as everyone is, would do the same. You guys are definitely blessed.

Southern Spud said...

AMAZING--every bit of it!