Flood Victims

As I watch the news footage from Hurricane Ike, I’m deeply concerned for all the people in the path of the storm. What makes things really difficult is that so many friends from SL and Plurk live in Texas, or have friends and family members that could be in harms way. I know some of Alicia’s family evacuated.. Dyami is out there somewhere. Nimil has someone she’s worried about. And of course, our favorite robot tyrant, Crap Mariner, is directly in the path and I believe is already losing power.. if he hasn’t already. And of course, these are just a few people that are being affected.

I know firsthand how it feels to see your city devestated by a flood. Although I was born in Las Vegas, I spent my entire childhood from age 5 to 17 in a small town in southeast Kansas. Last July, there were a lot of storms that ultimately caused the dam that shelters my hometown to burst. In seconds, most of the city was underwater. One of the first places hit was the huge oil refinery at the edge of town. The workers had little to no warning, but a couple of men stayed behind to try and secure the oil tanks. They died trying, and their bodies were never found. One man drowned in his hotel room. The surge of water was so powerful, it tore up chunks of concrete and buckled the street in places, like cardboard. Thankfully, the water didn’t quite reach my moms house or my grandparents house. Both of them happened to live at the top of a hill on seperate sides of town, although the water got within a half block of them. To make matters worse, the oil from the refinery filled. 42,000 gallons of oil filled the water that was flooding my town, destroying absolutely everything. There was no chance of recovery for the majority of the city.. the toxic oil contaminated everything in its path. Half of the businesses and homes in our town had to be bulldozed to the ground.. and even the earth was contaminated to the point that about 2 feet of soil had to be removed from the affected areas. This didn’t actually take place until sometime this year. My mom said most of our town is fields now, there’s nothing left. No buildings, structures, nothing. I had gone back to visit in October of last year, a few months after the flood. You could still smell the stink, and FEMA was there in hazmat suits, decontaminating the trees and houses that were black. It was so weird to see trees that were entirely black from oil. Most of the houses had huge red X’s on them that indicated they are contaminated and are marked to be torn down. Here are two videos from that flood, that I found on Youtube. This first one is footage of the flood. Understand that the areas you see that look like lakes and fields are actually neighborhoods underwater.

This next video is even more amazing. This is the aftermath of the flood, where you can see the oil marks on the houses, and the marks that the search and rescue teams painted on the houses to show they were checked. I believe red marks meant you cannot enter and they were to be torn down.. yellow or orange meant you could enter for a short time to clean up, and green was ok. Don’t quote me on that though, I’m going from memory. Thankfully there were not more people killed. I believe the death toll was only three.. the man who drowned in his hotel room, and the two men from the oil factory.

I’m really crossing my fingers that the people that are in the path of Hurricane Ike will be safe, and suffer little damage to their homes! My thoughts are with all of them.

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~ by Nika Dreamscape on September 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “Flood Victims”

  1. I had a good friend that lived temporarily with her sister & brother-in-law in Coffeyville. This was probably 15 or 20 years ago. They had a flood then, and my friend wrote me a very moving letter describing it. We’ve since lost touch. I hope her sister got out of there before last summer.

  2. I like along the power mains, so any power losses were sporadic.

    Thanks for thinking of me, but everybody pretty much knows I’m insane and don’t worry about such things. Every disaster life throws in my path is just an opportunity to laugh and roll around in the mud.

  3. When you come back for a visit, be very careful where you stay. Some of the hotels on the east side were fixed in a hurry after clean up and staying there can make you very sick. No real work was done on clean up. The guy in the hotel that you’re talking about, there was another guy in the same hotel next door to him. It was my uncle. He was asleep and heard what he thought was knocking at the door. When he opened the door, he realized the knocking was the water hitting the door. It swept him out and the only reason he survived was because he grabbed a tree branch, climbed up into the tree and stayed there overnight until rescue workers found him. He was in critical condition for 2 days.

    Here in Independence, Kansas it wasn’t as bad. They did the shut water off due to contamination and we were unable to leave the town, since we were surrounded by water. Wal-mart and Marvins were the only two places where you could get water and they were closed for a while. When they opened back up there was a riot for water at wal-mart.

    My husband and I helped in rescue efforts of many people who were underwater on 10th street rd. It took a matter of 20 minutes for the water to rise about 4 feet. Most of our friends lost their belongings and homes and FEMA refused to help many because they made more than minimum wage.

    Even today, we’re still cleaning up.

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