I posted about this the other day, so here is an update. I went up yesterday with the boys to see what needed to be done and how we could help.
Kind of long, sorry! Links to help are at the bottom.
My mom’s basement got about 4 inches of water in the lowest section, which is about 1/4 of the total area of the basement. Thank goodness for old houses with uneven flooring! It was mostly from the insane amount of rain (nearly 8 inches) making the storm sewers back up, which made the basement drains back up.
Unfortunately, it’s also where her washer and dryer and standing freezer are :/ The kids and Other-Husband were able to scoop the water out in buckets and mop the rest up. I’m grateful to the Red Cross for their flood cleanup kits and bottled water that they were handing out. We’ll have to see what shape the appliances are in when everything dries out, but I THINK they’ll be okay, since they only got their feet wet.
They were in almost the last section of town to get power back on, around 8pm yesterday, so nearly 3 days without power meant that just about everything in her fridge and freezers had to go. We were able to salvage some stuff, and she’s got loads of canned goods, so they’ll be okay, but we took out 3 garbage bags full of unusable food.
Husband’s 150-ish year old building, along with most others within 2-3 blocks of the river (so... about half the town) had over 5 feet of water in the basement. The owner had huge pumps going, trying to keep it out, but it just kept pouring in. They’ve got most of it out by now, so it’s now a matter of drying it out, and praying that there’s no structural damage.
They were also in that next-to-last section for power, so, again, everything in the fridges and freezers had to get tossed. Unfortunately, Husband had just stocked up a few days before the flood and had to throw out a whole lot of frozen pizzas, meals, etc, that just melted into mush. Nothing to be done about it, sadly.
Husband also had the unpleasant task of throwing away literally tons of food at his store, too. They got the power back on early, before the freezers thawed out, but all the meat, dairy, and deli stuff had to go. OldestSmack’s store, where he is a manager, is right by the river, but high enough up that the water only came to the road that runs alongside, so thank goodness for that! I haven’t seen him yet because he was working when we were there, but I spoke with him briefly and he’s ok, just stressed.
Almost-MIL and -BIL are fine, they’re on the high side of the river, but they were completely cut off from the rest of the town for a few days. No power, no water, no way across the river. One of the emergency help groups was leaving bottled water on people’s doorsteps, so at least they had that, and neighbours checked in on her regularly (she’s disabled and more or less housebound).
Some of our friends live closer to the river and did not fare as well as our family did, and Husband spent today helping 2 families haul up soaked carpeting and furniture from their basements. I’m going back up tomorrow with the 2 middle Smacklets, and we’ll help wherever we’re needed.
Speaking of help, if anyone would like to donate to the flood relief funds, there are several ways to help. The Red Cross of Wisconsin and the Salvation Army are both accepting donations that you can earmark for flood relief. There is also Love, Inc., which is based in Burlington and helps thousands of people with many, many things from food and clothing to emergency housing to gas cards and rides (their stores and warehouses flooded on Wednesday, but the water receded quickly and they are focusing on the worst affected people in the area). Here is an article and news clip about Love’s. I found this GoFundMe account for the people in Burlington that are in the worst-hit area. North Shore Bank has a flood relief account. So does BMO Harris Bank, although I’m not sure if you can donate online. I do know that you can donate in person at any of their branches, just make sure you tell them it’s for Burlington, Wi. Flood Relief.
(Burlington is far from the only place hit, it’s just the largest town in that half of the county and all the relief funds will be spread out among the smaller flooded towns in the area.)
Anyway, thank you for reading all this.