Finding Hope in Flood Loss

By KBJR News 1

July 11, 2012 Updated Jul 11, 2012 at 11:53 AM CDT

It's only one small percentage of the thousands of people who suffered damage or lost their home in the massive flooding.

Lisa Clarke and her family live in the Fond du Lac neighborhood of Duluth. Ever since the flooding caused up to $30,000 worth of damage, they've been fully immersed in getting their home back to code.

Lisa remembers the night of June 19 when flood waters began seeping into her basement.

"As I was standing here talking to my husband on the phone, I could see the water rising over my feet," she says.

It's a scene that can now only be seen through photographs.
Photographs that depict the devastation that nearly destroyed Lisa Clarke's most tangible memories.

"I was crying for four days because all of my baby pictures, my dad's Vietnam pictures, the wedding pictures, everybody's pictures were down here, so I didn't know what we were going to come back to."

What the Clarkes came back to was shocking.

"It was up about two feet on the garage and through here," she shows how the water rushed into her yard and into her garage and shed."Then obviously it came through here and you can see how it's pushing the grass."

A river had made its way through their yard, while sewage backed up into the basement.

"When I opened up the basement, there were all of our belongings floating."

The washer and dryer, freezer, treadmill, weight set, power tools, and a closet full of her husbands work clothes were completely submerged in water, and many were floating.

It was an immediate sense of loss, felt even by the youngest member of the family.

"I was thinking about how all my dad's stuff is gone, and my mom's stuff is gone, because I love them very much," says five-year-old Kyler.

Now those belongings sit in the front yard, adding to the landscape of trash that lines the roads in Lisa's neighborhood.

A neighborhood that has now been flooded with looters. People have been coming by every day this week to pick through their piles of debris. She assumes they are taking the appliances for their copper content.

But another visitor seems to like the debris.

A bear has been rummaging in the piles of debris.

"I think he smells the food that once was in the freezer and he's hoping to find something."

It's a lighter topic compared to the theme of loss and despair that takes over many conversations about the flooding at the Clarke home.

But despite the loss and the tens of thousands worth of damage, Lisa and her husband have a little angel keeping them level headed.

"God will take care of us, that's what I told her," says Kyler.

And with Kyler's help, Lisa has gained a new perspective on the situation.

"Yeah, we lost a lot of things, but those are just things and we still have each other."

Because stuff is replaceable she says, but family and memories are not.

Courtney Godfrey
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