September 24, 2009 - The Floods

For those who didn't hear about it (and since CNN and the Weather Channel are headquartered in Atlanta, I'd find that hard to believe), it rained quite a bit last weekend in Atlanta. Schools were closed, roads were washed out, and homes were flooded. The western side of Cobb County (mom and Bridget live in East Cobb) was hit particularly hard. I heard reports of more than 20 inches in 48 hours.
None of my close friends or family were directly impacted. Mom has a good friend whose basement flooded.

An email went around my office Thursday afternoon about a coworker whose home was flooded. I'd exchanged several emails with her - and spoken to her on the phone, but oddly never met her in person. Well, when Radiant participates in community events, Jill and I have almost always been out of town. This time, I had no plans, so took off work on a Friday and drove to Austell.

This is the picture of her house as of Monday afternoon, when the water had finally started to subside. You can see the water line above the garage.

By Thursday afternoon, the water was almost gone.

I got there Friday morning when it was still basically dark outside and started pitching in, along with dozens of other Radiant folks.
I snapped these pictures during the few water breaks we took.
Everyone just wanted to kept working. If you kept moving, it was less real.

By Friday, they had taken out the flooring, trim, doors, and much of the drywall.
We finished ripping out the drywall, removing the nails and screws, removed the insulation from the window frames (particularly tedious to get out all the sopping pink foam), the solid brick fireplace (since it had sheetrock behind it)...

and even the shower/tub (which also had sheetrock behind it).
This was so at noon that day, some company/agency could come by and spray the whole downstairs for mildew. They were so organized and had made so much progress.
Her neighbors had not.
It looked like there was basically no way any of them were going to get that treatment at noon, but we dove into her nextdoor neighbor's house anyway.

It was heartbreaking to see so many homes with all of their belongings sitting in their front yards to dry.

Dumpsters full of furniture, pictures, clothing, indistnguishable refuse.

Everything - even the screens - were covered with a fine, brown coating.
In spots (mostly at neighbors' houses), you could tell that was from the sewage and other nastiness that was floating in the floodwaters.

Now, my coworker has toys, clothes, and car parts in her back yard, having followed the tide from who-knows-where.
It is going to be a long road to recovery for thousands of metro-Atlantans.