Monday, June 08, 2009

Anniversary of the Flood

A year ago this week, Parkview was under 4 feet of flood water from the Iowa River. It's hard to believe all this church and community went through over the last year. Recently I went through all the photos and was surprised how much it moved me. The feelings were not of regret or frustration, but of fondness. Fondness rooted in the memory of working side by side with such wonderful people. Though some might think the flood got the best of us when it filled our facility with over four feet of muddy river water but, in my view, the Lord used the flood to cement our trust in Him and to fordge deep and meaningful friendships. For this I am grateful.

Here is a recent article in the Press Citizen regarding our return and below are a few pics and descriptions recounting some of the events that surrounded the flood. To see a complete review of the flood, you can visit my June blog archive for more pictures and written detail.

On Sunday, June 8th we began building a sandbag wall around the church. At the time we only expected to build the wall a few feet high.

Each day the flood projections required us to increase the height of the wall, leaving it at about 4 feet tall all the way around the building. Rain gutters were re-built in order to send roof water outside the flood wall.

Walls were fortified and sump pumps were installed all along the wall in order to maintain the integrity of the flood barrier.

Eventually trucks and tractors were unable to transport sandbags due to the eroding driving path. From that point forward long lines were made to pass sandbags where ever they were needed.

Here's our access to the main entrance of the church facility.

A boat with diesel fuel was ready to keep our generators fueled that were to power the sumps once land access was no longer available.

Sand bagging operations continued in our upper parking lot for both the church and area neighborhoods.

The water kept rising.

The wall on the southeast corner of the facility was holding back water by Wednesday, June 11th.

Sandbagging operations kept shifting further north as the waters rose.

On Thursday the 12th, we were ordered by the city to evacuate. At the time we were told flood waters were now projected to reach to the eaves of the building.

Most of the facility was evacuated in these crates that were hauled by lifts across the floodwaters into numerous semi trailers.

Services were relocated to West High.

Within a day the entire facility was flooded.

A few of us were joined by CNN (the guy with the camera) as we toured the flooded facility.

Here's the window in the main office.

On Sunday, June 22 the waters fully receded and we were given access to the facility to begin the process of clean-out.

On December 14th, we had our first services back at Parkview after almost 6 months of facility renovation.


Makenna said...

Wow. It seems so long ago, but as I was looking through the pictures memories, emotions and even some smells came back to my mind.
It was an amazing time to see God draw His people to Himself and closer to each other. I pray we will continue to be a church that shows the world around us God's love and mighty power in all circumstances.

Anonymous said...

It's me again Scott: Escondido Lady. I can't imagine all that happened last year. Yet, having gone through flooding in 1993 at Parkview (not nearly as bad...didn't get inside the church) I did have memories. I keep telling folks in the midwest and eastcoast to please send some of the rain to Southern California. We are in a drought and really need rain! I thank God for your postive attitude regarding your comments as you looked over the photoes from 2008. To God be the Glory!