Bloomsburg Flood 2011

Last weekend, I went to Bloomsburg to help my grandparents in the flood.  There was rain from Tropical Storm Lee that pushed all the creek and Susquehanna River water into people’s houses. My grandparents got their entire basement flooded.  They have never had any water in their house before.  This flooding was the worst in this area since 1904.  Their entire basement is destroyed and they ripped out all the walls, carpet, and bathrooms.  It was very sad to see my grandparents basement that way. They lost a lot of important things, like my grandmother’s yearbooks, pictures, furniture, and toys.  I was sad to see all of my dad’s old stuffed animals and books all thrown out in a pile of mud.  My brother was also very sad to lose his play house. Their entire deck is being used for all the things they lost in the flood.  But they also did save some things like jewelry, pictures, furniture, our Lego collection, and my Barbies from their playroom.  They couldn’t save everything because the flood water came too quickly.  People would think that you could just wash these things, but floodwaters have bacteria, chemicals, and molds so that everything that get wet is ruined.  Plastic can be washed sometimes. 

I have never seen Bloomsburg this bad.  I drove down the street with my mom and dad and people’s houses were destroyed.  Some houses were knocked down, some houses floated off their foundations, some people lost whole parts of their house, and some houses were just planks of wood.  Also, when I drove by, I saw piles of all the people’s belongings that are now ruined.  It was crazy to see all off of the piles lined up on the curb by every house.  Also, I saw many servicemen and women from the Army and National Guard directing traffic, signing up volunteers, and helping people.  There were tanks and army trucks when we drove by.

Even with all of this bad stuff comes new good things.  I was coloring a sign in my grandparent’s driveway that said “Get Better Bloomsburg!”  When I was coloring, trucks and cars were coming by and saying “Would you like some water?” or “Do you want a free lunch from the Red Cross?” And people in every driveway were helping to build houses up again.  My dad went and did work at some apartments to help all of the people that don’t have homes.  We also donated a lot of clothing, cleaning supplies, and equipment because the stores there are sold out and many people don’t have money to buy things.  My mom helped my grandmother because she was very sad, not feeling well, and was overwhelmed by the damage. 

When you walk down into my grandparent’s basement, there is usually a wall that divides the opening from the playroom.  But now you can see right through the wall. The toilet and sink in the bathroom are torn out.  There are tarps in every doorway. Their bar has no appliances any more. And their laundry room doesn’t have a washer and dryer any more.  Also, when you turn and go past the entertainment center, there is also usually a wall.  But now you can see right through into the guest bedroom. They have a cool opening from the basement to the first floor and you can’t see down it anymore because of the tarps. Everything was covered in mud and was very wet and smelly.  There were also big fans to dry things and get rid of the odors.  My grandparents didn’t have water service so they had to do all their laundry and take showers at my cousin’s house.  

I learned that with a bad thing comes a good thing.  People on the streets, who would never have the courage to talk to each other, are talking and helping each other.  We are all very sad but we are all very happy that everything is OK and people are going to have homes very soon.  Family members are letting other people stay at their houses and they are trying to make people feel safe.  These people have families, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives, and children.  Look around.  They are just like us.  We need to help them.