After the flood

July 15, 2008

We always see or read about the heroic efforts to save a city or a neighborhood. But we seldom think about the life-gets-back-to-normal-drudgery aftermath:

Some of the sandbags used as a barricade to stop flood waters from pouring into Nick Cuthbertson’s home are still stacked in front of his small house.

The Martinsville resident had enlisted the help of friends as the flood waters rose June 14. He drove to the Morgan County Fairgrounds and hauled back 200 sandbags to his Cross Street home.

The bags helped him avert disaster. But he’s now left with another problem that, while nowhere near as dire, is nonetheless proving to be a hassle — disposing of those lumpy and heavy bags that once offered a fortress against the raging waters.

At least 500,000 such bags, each weighing 75-100 pounds, were used to fight back the waters that flooded parts of the state last month.

[. . .]

Because members of the Indiana National Guard helped get them stacked, placing the sandbags required a measure of statewide coordination. But Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson said there is no statewide effort to remove them. That job is left to counties, which, in turn, are pretty much leaving it to residents to take care of the problem.

I tend to be both a packrat and a pessimist, so I’d probably just stack them in the back yard until the next flood — which is coming, we all know it is — shows up.


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