When waters rise, communities come together

While many of us were peacefully sleeping in our warm beds the night of the 7th, families like the Hammocks were waking up hourly to check the water level around their property. Sometime between 3 and 4 am they knew they had to move their animals to safety and spent the wee hours of the morning doing so. Dunkin Makin recounts that morning; wading through the water trying to gather the sheep. Wading waist deep trying to gather the sheep, he said he threw them in the floating feed barrels around him to get them out their pen and to safety. He said they couldn’t find the horses until daylight. Luckily, a canoe had floated onto the property and they used that to paddle out to their horses. Gabe Castro, a family friend, was there helping that morning. Because the canoe frightened the horses, he had to get out and wade in water up to his chest to lead the horses to safety. The Hammocks said they lost one sheep and more than 100 of their birds, most of them 4H birds. They also lost one rabbit but all the large animals were saved. Their family has lived here for 7 years, and this is the second flood they’ve had to deal with.


Among the chaos though, community members all around organized themselves to help aid families like the Hammocks. Members of the Mountain View Ward in the LDS church spent Mother’s Day morning helping Linda Griffin. After making phone calls for help, in the mater of about 20 minutes, 10 men were out of bed and on their way to help. When they got to her home they were sad to find they were too late to sandbag, and the water was rising at an alarming rate. The home, barn, cars and equipment were all surrounded by the water. They decided to get as much of her valuables as they could to high ground. They moved vehicles, generators, 4 wheelers, chickens, dogs and anything they could to safety. Jason Corey recounted moving one of the vehicles off the property and said the water washed over the hood of the vehicle as he dipped into a deep spot of the property.Creeping through in low gear, he was able to drive the vehicle out of the water and to high ground. They loaded a horse trailer full of items and he said the truck pulling the trailer sounded more like a boat as the truck’s fan hit the water repeatedly. He said he never felt like they were in terrible danger but it was a little tense.


Church members also donated water, blankets, 72-hour kits, towels and food for families affected by the flood. The items were gathered and delivered by the afternoon of Mother’s Day.

Look around the community, and you will see many examples like this of people lending a helping hand. Neighbors are helping neighbors; strangers are donating supplies and many people donated hours of service in sandbagging and now in clean up. Way to go County 10!

photos h/t Spencer Smith