Monday, September 15, 2008
Flooding In Munster, In.
Ike hit home yesterday.
My 85 year old mother is a patient undergoing short term physical therapy following a serious illness in a nursing home in Munster, Indiana. Her twin sister is a long term totally bedridden patient in the same facility.
Yesterday afternoon, following a record rainfall, a levy on The Little Calumet, the river which once ran immediately behind my backyard, broke. The resulting flood closed streets, cut power, and flooded hundreds of home, forcing the evacuation of over 400 families - and the nursing home.
It took nearly 10 frantic hours to locate my mother and aunt who were moved by a private ambulance company and The National Guard in specially built ambulances to several medical facilies in areas unaffected by the flood waters.
They are both safe and sound - but rattled. My aunt has not left her bed in over 5 years but she seems to have taken the move pragmatically. My mother is not coping so well. She is worried about her house which is also close to the banks of the Little Cal in Lansing, Il. No one's been able to get through the streets to check on it's condition and we are unable to contact any neighbors.
My sister, who also lives in nearby Lansing, Il. is under a mandatory evacuation order but so far is choosing to stay. She lost her entire first level to a malfunctioning sump pump just 6 weeks ago. She was, however, unable to leave once she decided to stay due to street closings. My oldest son was stuck in So. Carolina following a long weekend trip waiting to catch a flight home. My youngest son and his girlfriend, who also live in the Munster area, are stiill unaccounted for. His cell phone is not working and she has not returned my calls as of yet. Their area was not hit so hard and they live on the second floor of a large apartment building, so I am presuming they are ok....otherwise I shall go crazy.
My heart goes out to all who have suffered at the hands of such disasterous weather lately. To Texas, and Louisiana, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, The Carolinas, Florida and every other place which has been affected, prayers and thoughts are with you.
A big "thank you" to The Indiana National Guard and The Munster Volunteer Fire Department as well as to the amazing staff at The Munster Med Inn who braved the waters and left their own flooded homes and families to tend to their patients. Several of the staff at Med Inn traveled with their patients to their temporary homes in order to keep their fears at bay by offering a familiar face and a friendly hand.
These are people who are underpaid and overworked. People who give of themselves and their time, putting their own needs and fears aside in order to aid those with bigger needs and bigger fears. These are the heroes. These are Americans.
The National Guard Evacuates The Munster Med Inn
update: The two unaccounted for children have called and been counted. Both are ok...one is at work and one is enroute to work but with the distinct possibility that he will not be able to make it.