CEDAR RAPIDS MISSION: Students help couple clean out flooded home

Saturday, July 5, 2008 | 8:31 p.m. CDT; updated 4:56 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Marty Swant

In response to the massive damage from recent flooding in Iowa, a group of college students from The Crossing, including reporter Marty Swant, organized a mission trip to Cedar Rapids from Thursday through Sunday to help with relief efforts. Marty is filing daily dispatches from the field.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Today we headed out at about 9 a.m. to work on a couple’s house that had been heavily damaged by flooding. The home was outside of Vinton, Iowa, about 40 minutes northwest of Cedar Rapids.

The couple who owned the home had been married 35 years and were glad for our help. The flood waters had reached halfway up the windows on the second story of their house. Everything inside was ruined and had to come out.

We took all the things out of the downstairs and piled them up in a dump truck to be hauled away. We moved to the upstairs and threw out everything we found. Then we gutted the walls and took up the carpeting.

A few members of our crew assisted with the cleanup at the house next door.

A Red Cross vehicle came and fed us lunch around noon. We ate a very basic meal of pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and canned peaches.

We’re pretty tired. Everyone’s a little sore from using crowbars and sledge hammers. Everyone’s getting showered tonight and cleaned off. Some people are taking naps for the evening.

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