Community response to flood encouraging

Curtis Powers

The great flood of 2010 was brutal. It killed a person, cost some people everything they owned and damaged a lot of property. However, it could have been much worse.

Thanks to the efforts of the entire Ames community, it wasn’t. I was impressed by the way the community responded to the disaster.

The city government did a wonderful job coordinating the recovery effort, from restoring drinkable water to getting services back online. Those water folks, led by John Dunn, really did a spectacular job.

Others did well, too, such as the electrical department. Half of the power in my wife’s and my duplex went out Thursday morning due to a damaged electrical wire. The city was able to get to our place and fix the problem within 24 hours. It was really impressive.

As much as you hear about the “government” being incompetent or the last institution you want helping you, I think its response to this crisis has proved otherwise. At least that is true for the local and state levels.

Maybe that is one of the reasons why the city of Ames was ranked the ninth-best small city in America according to 

I was also impressed with the response of area businesses. Many of them voluntarily shut down to help conserve water.

Some donated bottled water and helped coordinate logistics to get it here. They also had employees volunteering by handing out water at the various distribution sites.

The greek community also deserves some credit. As much flack as it often gets, I wanted to highlight members’ volunteer efforts. I saw some g reeks handing out water at one site.

I was struck as to how individuals helped each other out. Numerous people volunteered to hand out water or help their neighbors clean up their houses.

For instance, some friends’ basement, which is where they lived in the house, flooded badly. It was cool to see other friends and relatives show up to help them. We were able to get all of their stuff out, as well as tear up the carpet and cut some drywall.

Then, two days later, a few of those same people showed up to help our friends’ neighbor, who we didn’t even know. The same thing had happened to her and these folks were able to help her clean a lot of her basement as well.

On top of that, our friends’ insurance company did a great job handling and processing their claim. As many of you probably know, insurance claims can be pretty stressful.

So, yes, this flood has been a major disaster, but the response by the community has been very encouraging. It has certainly made me proud to be a resident of Ames, IA.