Frumpfighter

Posts Tagged ‘Iowa

The Flood of 2008 in Vinton came full circle today with the first of 16 planned demolitions of homes damaged beyond repair.

Zach and Michelle Rogers' former home at 201 E. Third St., Vinton, before its demolition Thursday, May 28.

Zach and Michelle Rogers' former home at 201 E. Third St., Vinton, before its demolition Thursday, May 28.

The first to go down was 201 E. Third St., where Zach and Michelle Rogers lived for nearly a decade before it was overtaken by the Cedar River last June.

As the flood became more and more serious that fateful week, I walked the three blocks from my Vinton home (thankfully, on a hill) to the area near the river to see what the fuss was all about.

I saw the Rogerses and their neighbors sandbag their homes on Second Street as volunteers feverishly tried to protect the nearby fire station and county jail. At that point, Tuesday, June 10, there didn’t seem to be a sense of panic.  

But over the course of the next few days, everything went seriously wrong. The power plant was wiped out. The jail was destroyed. The Rogers’ house was destroyed, as well as many other houses and properties in the area.

Here’s my recollection of that week: https://frumpfighter.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/flooded-vinton-homes-set-to-be-demolished/

One of my most profound memories of the flood was when Michelle Rogers joked about me getting worker’s comp for my dirty shoes as I walked around their flood-ravished house.

This morning as I watched their home being demolished, I realized I was wearing those shoes. They were easily washed off and saved. Unfortunately, their house was not.

Workers from D.W. Zinser Co. of Walford work on the demolition of Zach and Michelle Rogerses' home at 201 E. Third St., Vinton, on Thursday.

Workers from D.W. Zinser Co. of Walford work on the demolition of Zach and Michelle Rogerses' home at 201 E. Third St., Vinton, on Thursday.

With the Benton County Courthouse in the background, demolition of homes in Vinton begins.

With the Benton County Courthouse in the background, demolition of homes in Vinton begins.

A worker with D.W. Zinser Co. of Walford takes precaution with the debris from the demolition of a flood-damaged home in Vinton.

A worker with D.W. Zinser Co. of Walford takes precaution with the debris from the demolition of a flood-damaged home in Vinton.

The area near Vinton homes slated for demolition is blocked off due to safety reasons.

The area near Vinton homes slated for demolition is blocked off due to safety reasons.

Homes along Second Street in Vinton await the fate of 201 E. Third St. - demolition.

Homes along Second Street in Vinton await the fate of 201 E. Third St. - demolition.

The Benton County Courthouse rises above in the background of the site of the first demolition in Vinton.

The Benton County Courthouse rises above in the background of the site of the first demolition in Vinton.

I always figured I had gunk in my joints, but a session of Ion Cleanse Detoxification at Total Image in Vinton, Iowa, proved it.

As I was getting my hair cut at the salon, I was drawn to the sign on the mirror explaining the process and the colors the water would turn after 30 minutes with your feet in it. I have heard about detoxification but this time, I just had to try it.

My feet in the nice, clean water before the toxins were pulled out.

My feet in the nice, clean water before the toxins were pulled out.

I went in a couple days later for my trial treatment. Total Image owner Kristen Redlinger put purified water in the tub along with some sea salt. She then added some hot water.

The array is placed into the water and emits currents which pull the toxins out of the body. According to AMD (A Major Difference), the maker of Ion Cleanse Detoxification, this is how it works:

The array goes into the water with the hands, feet, or other body parts, and the control unit delivers a small direct current into the array, which causes the metals within the array, in combination with the water and salt, to generate positively and negatively charged ions. These ions neutralize charged particles in the body. The neutralized particles are pulled out of the body through the skin via osmosis and diffusion. Osmosis and diffusion involve the movement of particles through a membrane, from a lower concentration to a higher concentration. In this case, the higher concentration is the ion field set up by the array in the water. (www.amajordifference.com)

As the toxins come out of your feet, the water turns a different color(s) and may have flecks.  Here is generally what the colors indicate:

Yellow-green:  Detoxifying from the kidney, bladder, urinary tract, female/prostate area

Orange: Detoxifying from joints

Brown: Detoxifying from liver, tobacco, cellular debris

Black: Detoxifying from liver

Dark green: Detoxifying from gallbladder

White foam: Lymphatic system

White cheese-like particles: Most likely yeast

Black flecks: Heavy metals

Red flecks: Blood clot material

Now the brochure does come out and say that water, metal, salt combined as well as other particles in the environment will cause the water color to change even if your feet are not in it.

The water turned a dark orange and flecks were visible after about 20 minutes, indicating detoxification of my joints.

The water turned a dark orange and flecks were visible after about 20 minutes, indicating detoxification of my joints.

So, when the water turned a little orange after my feet were in it for a few minutes, I wasn’t too alarmed. But then it turned a deeper red-orange and became rather thick. Wow, there really does seem to be a lot of toxins in my joints.

I’ve always had stiff joints. Even when I was young, slender and in shape, I had a difficult time walking after being stationary for a long time. When I get out of bed, I look (and feel) like am 90 years old sometimes.

I tend to attribute this to thyroid problems. I had my entire thyroid gland removed eight years ago and am on medication. When my levels are wacky, I can usually tell because my knees are extremely stiff. When my levels are stable, the stiff joints are much better, but not completely cured.

I haven’t yet had a follow-up detoxification session. I wonder how much more gunk remains in my joints and other parts of my body. Eewww.

When I was a kid, Easter was always a packed (yet wonderful) day. All of my grandparents lived in Kanawha, Iowa, about three hours from my hometown Williamsburg. We got there on Saturday because the sunrise service at my paternal grandmother’s Lutheran church started at 5:30 Easter morning.

My grandparents, Harold and Nettie Assink's house in Kanawha, Iowa.

My grandparents, Harold and Nettie Assink's house in Kanawha, Iowa.

There was a breakfast served by the church’s youth group who led the short service depicting the empty tomb from which Jesus had risen. After breakfast and visiting with my parents’ friends, we would go to my maternal grandparents’ house just a few blocks away and wait for the service at their Christian Reformed Church to begin at 9:30 a.m.

I do recall being rather sleepy many times during that service but the beautiful music and inspirational Easter message kept me awake. After that service and more visiting with friends and relatives, we went back to Grandma and Grandpa Assink’s house and prepared the Easter feast. And what a feast is was. Three or four courses. Salads. Desserts. Meat and potatoes.

Before the day was over, we headed to my Grandma Asbe’s on the farm and had another feast. It did not matter how much we ate earlier in the day, we all seemed up for more great home cooked food.  It truly was one of the most filling days of the year.

Things have obviously changed since I was a kid. Grandma Asbe died in 2000 and the farm was sold. Grandpa Assink died in 2004 but Grandma Assink stayed in the big yellow house on Main Street.

What my grandma's house looked like in the final stages of moving.

What my grandma's house looked like in the final stages of moving.

But the three-level house became just too big for her with the washer and dryer in the basement and the bedrooms and bathrooms on the third floor. So she made the decision to move into an apartment which could better suit her needs.

Last weekend was the monumental moving day. My parents and aunts and uncles from all over the country were there throughout most of the week, helping transfer 56 years of life in one house – 56 years. Three of my grandparents’ five daughters knew only that house as their parents’ and all of us grandkids knew no other.

My grandpa's hats, just as he left them, in an upstairs cabinet.

My grandpa's hats, just as he left them, in an upstairs cabinet.

I didn’t know how emotional I would be seeing it for the last time. In the past decade I didn’t go up there that often – once a year at most. I also knew it would be best for my grandmother to live in a single-level place close to some of her friends and family.

But when my brother and I walked in the house last Saturday, it was a jolt. Only the piano, dining room table and assorted boxes and piles of memories remained. Upstairs, I looked through the closets and built-in cabinets, snooping like I always did. In one cabinet sat my grandpa’s hats, untouched since before he died. In the basement grandpa’s woodworking bench remained as he left it. Grandma’s canning jars were lined up on the shelves, amazingly void of any dust.

Grandma Assink, always the character, enjoying pie in her new apartment.

Grandma Assink, always the character, enjoying pie in her new apartment.

As I walked through the house one last time, I thought of all those Easters and Christmases filled with love and laughter. My generation now has families and our kids are the same age we were while traipsing through grandma and grandpa’s house. I hope the people who end up buying the yellow house keep that family tradition alive. They have big shoes to fill. Just remember: the yellow house has been filled with children, music, food, love and laughter for more than 50 years. Please don’t let it be lonely for too long.

So far, this March has been much more pleasant than last year’s, especially the weather. In 2008, I remember shoveling snow out of the driveway in the middle of March.

Orange placards have been placed on 16 properties in Vinton, deeming them unsafe and set for demolition.

Orange placards have been placed on 16 properties in Vinton, deeming them unsafe and set for demolition.

But Friday was perfect walking weather and so I headed down to the area in Vinton that was hit hard by last June’s flood. Something new had popped up on some of the most damaged homes since the last time I walked down there – orange placards declaring the properties were unsafe and slated for demolition.

These homes had been boarded up throughout the winter but the demolition signs really struck me, especially several on the corner of Third Street and Second Avenue.

Walls of sandbags failed to protect homes near the Cedar River in Vinton during the Flood of 2008.

Walls of sandbags failed to protect homes near the Cedar River in Vinton during the Flood of 2008.

When the floodwaters began to rise last year, I walked by the raging Cedar River and watched it overtake the fire station and creep toward downtown. After setting up 2-foot sandbag walls, the residents of the homes along Second Avenue sat on their porches and in lawn chairs and watched the efforts to protect the eventually doomed Benton County Enforcement Center across the street.   

By the next morning it was apparent any effort to protect anything in that area was for naught. National Guardsmen stood guard as driving rain made the floodwaters impossible to contain. Vinton’s electrical plant was knocked out and people were evacuated from their homes.

rogers1

Zach Rogers tries to salvage items from his flood-damaged home in Vinton on Father's Day 2008.

I had been stranded at my parents’ house in Williamsburg for several days as the roads leading into Vinton either had been washed out or were impassable. I made it back by the weekend and went to survey the damage on Father’s Day. I spoke to Zach Rogers, who just five days earlier was one of those watching the activity, feeling fairly confident the sandbag wall would protect his home from any water.

The Rogers family had lived at 201 E. Third St. for eight years and loved their home. Zach knew the home was only several blocks from the river but had heard that during the great Flood of 1993, the water had only come up to the sidewalk.

Zach Rogers' home at 201 E. Third St., Vinton, is now slated for demolition.

Zach Rogers' home at 201 E. Third St., Vinton, is now slated for demolition.

The Flood of 2008 would not be so gentle. The water ravished their basement and crept up the first floor. Zach said they got a lot of their belongings upstairs, but not enough. One of the casualties was the Rogers’ wedding pictures.

As I asked Zach questions, took pictures and looked around their house coated with mud, his wife, Michelle, told me to be careful and jokingly said she hoped workers’ comp would cover my trashed shoes. Here she was, cleaning out her destroyed belongings and she was worried about my shoes.

John Haines spends his Father's Day 200 trudging through the muck the flood left in his home in Vinton.

John Haines spends his Father's Day 2008 trudging through the muck the flood left in his home in Vinton.

Next door, John Haines was also trudging through the mud that took over his home, trying to find anything salvageable. He also moved valuable items to the second floor but lost everything, including stored treasures, in the basement. He had been trying to sell his home for three months, trying to find a larger place for him and his children. At one point in the week, the for-sale sign in the yard was underwater.

He told me the neighborhood would stick together and make it through this. But the damage was too great. A few weeks ago, more than eight months after the flood, the city put up the placards, including on Rogers’ and Haines’ homes.

John Haines' home has been marked as unsafe.

John Haines' home has been marked as unsafe.

According to Vinton City Coordinator Andy Lent, there were 16 structures deemed structurally unsound and slated for demolition. The city council will consider bids at its meeting March 12 for the demolition.

Lent said 14 of the 16 are on a buyout plan through the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Once the homes are torn down, no other homes will be allowed to be built on the lots. The Vinton Parks and Recreation Department is working on a trail system that would turn the flood plain into trails and park land.  

The trails and parks will be a nice addition to the city, especially after the area and homes have sat empty and dilapidated for nearly a year. But it won’t replace all that these families lost when the Cedar River went into a rage one week in June 2008.


    follow me on Twitter

    Blog Stats

    • 55,466 hits

    Top Clicks

    • None
    August 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Jun    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031