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The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him: adam.belz@gazcomm.com

2008: Sandbaggers take initiative

More memories from the flood:

My mother and I, along with some friends responded to the call. We initially head to Edgewood Road, to assist with the well, but were turned away. We were told to go to Mercy Hospital and got there as soon as we could. We parked on the Northern Side of the hospital and walked around to the intersection of 8th Avenue and 10th Street SE. We quickly realized that no one in particular was in charge, but instead, it was find someone who at least knew what to do. After a while, they said that they were moving to another location. My mother got on the back of a pickup and took off. I assumed that I would get on the next one, and go to the same location. It didn’t pan out that way. Instead she went down near the Qwest building and I ended up back on the Northern side of the hospital. We got a pile of sand there and began filling sandbags and sending them down an assembly line into the bottom of the hospital. At some point, people came out of the bottom of the hospital, and some others (including myself) went in. I remember standing in the bottom floors of the hospital in about 1/2 inch of water and getting handed sandbags and sending them down the line.

I think the part that sticks out to me, was how the community rose up against everything, to help save itself. Also, how we didn’t wait for anyone to tell us what to do. Instead, we learned from each other and then passed that on to the next person who needed it.

Sincerely,
Mark Fuller
Cedar Rapids, IA

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