I spent yesterday evening helping a friend clean out her house after it was inundated with six feet of nasty, muddy water when a creek near her neighborhood flooded earlier this week (That school you kept seeing on the news? That's the neighborhood elementary school.). The situation in her neighborhood is among the worst things I've seen, and that includes a bombed-out embassy and a war zone, which, while a far worse situation overall, certainly smelled better.
Do you know what happens to books (and their shelves) when they get wet? They expand. And wood warps. You end up with some very interesting shapes in the end. (And a handy guide as to how high the water got. Everything above 6 feet was perfectly dry.)
As for your major appliances, well, it turns out that water can do some pretty interesting things to them as well:
All this is to say, floods are really bad. If you own a home and don't have flood insurance, it's worth the cost. This home wasn't in the flood plain, but it and homes in the surrounding neighborhood are completely destroyed. Get the insurance. You do not want to have to deal with this.
If you'd like to help victims of this week's flooding in Atlanta, you can donate here:
- Clarkdale Elementary (via the Cobb Schools Foundation) - Will go to buying supplies for classrooms and students, all of whom have been relocated to other campuses.
- American Red Cross - Providing assistance to families in emergency shelters & other flood victims
- Ewing Road Baptist Church - This church sits just outside the subdivision entrance. Their volunteers are distributing water and providing meals for the families in the subdivision. I'm sure they would appreciate some financial assistance directed towards funding those meals as they try to meet the most basic needs of those in their neighborhood.
- If you're in the Atlanta area, the two things most badly (and immediately) needed are manpower and gift cards. These houses have to be emptied out asap; almost all need to be gutted and most families are trying to get that done before the mold takes over. If you can take a truck and some strong arms to the area, there will be someone you can help. Gift cards, especially those that can be used at any store (eg, Visa or Mastercard) will help families who have to replace everything. This is especially important for things like children's clothes, toiletries, diapers, and cleanup supplies. It is not a good idea to show up with items (except for cleanup supplies - trashbags, mops, shovels, wheelbarrows) as there's nowhere to put stuff like that. Better to donate to the Red Cross or someone you know individually.