GILLES BIOCHE IS MY ELECTRONIC ENGINEER SON-IN-LAW FROM FRANCE WHO WORKS FOR ROCKWELL- COLLINS. ALONG WITH MY DAUGHTER, JENNY, GILLES IS LEARNING THAT THERE IS ANOTHER UNITED STATES WITH A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE AND TONE THAN NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA WHERE THEY AND MY FOUR GRANDCHILDREN HAVE LIVED FOR THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS.
NOW COMES "THE FIVE HUNDRED YEAR FLOOD".
This is Gilles' recounting of his flood experience. His personal penchant for generosity of spirit can be easily understood by his call for donations to the local Catholic parish, St. Pat's. Gilles' speaks five languages and often creates then translates engineering drafts for his employers international clients. One of his languages is Japanese. I point this out only to pressage any sentence or grammatical structure that can arise from his writing as it is unedited here.
Our home on Indian Creek came out ok. We worked at sandbagging it all day thursday. The water came up within 1 foot in elevation (i.e. about 6 to 8 feet away) from the nearest sandbags and started receeding at 5 pm. In all, It seems like the Indian Creek waters went up about 6 to 10 feet from their normal elevation. We could see baby deers swimming to theit own safety. It was a relief to see the waters recede, but we worked until later in the night to secure the home a bit more, and move more items from the walk-out basement. Friends from Rockwell-Coillins, some of them neighbors, others just volunteers helped out tremendously. And we involved the (In and Out-Utero) children in the team process: My neighbor's wife was on her last few days before giving birth.. and the scheduled hospital was to be evacuated!
We took Friday and the entire weekend to start processing what had happened in my Indian Creek neighborhood and in the Cedar Rapids's Cedar river area. Indian Creek is a small river that serves into the Cedar River we are at mile 12.6, i.e. about 90 feet in elevation above the river's mouth. Will share a few pics later.
Here below is a cut and paste of a story which Jenny wrote for the Saturday issue of DesMoisne Register. The send-to-a-friend feature of the website did not seem to work today so I sent as-is with the intent of sharing Jenny's thoughts as we were starting to recover on Friday. Please remember St Patrick Catholic Church(*) and ALL the people in Cedar Rapids, as you make your donations and offer to help with prayers and services.
Take care -- Gilles
Jenny and I would love to receive notes or voicemails. Jenny will be in So-Cal with our second oldest son Joseph for a few days around July 5th, while I travel to Europe with the other kids. (*) Mailing address below for: Father Steven J. Rosonke, St. Patrick Catholic Church
500 1st Ave. NW (location)120 Fifth St. NW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
JENNY'S DES MOINES REGISTER : Jennifer Bioche is a former Orange County Talk Show Host and columnist for the Los.Angeles Times)
Sitting in the Marion library on Friday afternoon, I cast a quick glance at the clock. I had been allocated 30 minutes of Internet use. The flooding in Cedar Rapids had shut down the Metro Library Internet service, to which Marion is connected.As I wrote, Marion's police department was the temporary location of the Cedar Rapids police department, which had to move to higher ground. At the Marion Hy-Vee that morning, an employee I recognized looked nervous. She was a Cedar Rapids resident, spared from the flood, but still jarred by the experience.
And so while I don't live in Cedar Rapids, I am for now a Cedar Rapidian. And, well, on Thursday, I was very much so when Indian Creek, which runs by our Marion home, overflowed and threatened our property. At 10 a.m., I noticed the rising to the east of my yard. By noon, it was clear this was no puddle.As a small crowd of gracious people, mostly neighbors and their able-bodied teen sons - appeared in my driveway to fill sandbags and carry them to guard our lower level, I thought - wow - it's Marion, but it's Cedar Rapids.
I headed out to a hardware store to stock up on supplies; I soon realized that many of my fellow Marion residents weren't on board, almost to the point of negligence. I barreled into the store, figuring staff would be lined up with flood supplies. Wrong. This was Marion, not Cedar Rapids, and the good folks here didn't have a care in the world.
A young employee strolled leisurely toward the plastic tarp rolls. It was slow going, too, at check-out. Ditto on the way home. I ended up behind Ma and Pa Marion who were out for a look-see drive, going 10 in a 35 mph zone.Back home, yet more kind-hearted people were bagging, carrying and moving furniture out of our basement, at one point under the monsoon-like rain. A short clearing around 6 p.m. allowed a pause. A neighbor ordered pizza, we ate and counted our blessings.While the water didn't reach our house, I learned a valuable lesson in how Mother Nature reminds us of how small we are. Marion thankfully isn't on the front page of the nation's newspapers.
And yet for that one day, I understood how significant this luck really is. Even if you're not affected by the flood, chances are, someone close to you is. Thank you, Cedar Rapids, for teaching a neighbor a lesson. I look forward to helping you clean up.