Sunday, July 22, 2012

When It Rains It Pours

Even though we now live in Arizona, we still own our home in St. George, Utah.
Last Sunday we received an emergency call that the largest storm in over 100 years had pummeled across the red rock mountain side behind our home, dropping record breaking rain.
Within 45 minutes the dry desert had received 4 inches of water.
The average rainfall per year in St. George is 8 inches, and the earthen floor was unprepared for such a deluge.

Within minutes large washes of mud cascaded down the mountainside and into our back yard, filling our pool to overflow.
With the neighbor's call, Mr. Cactus was out the door and made the 6 hour drive back to Utah as quickly as he could.
Our kind brother Gary and his wife Lori immediately went over to the house and began draining the pool and mopping up water that had sloshed into the back of the house.

When Mr. Cactus arrived at 2:00 a.m. he was in for quite a sight.
By sunrise, members of our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) began arriving in droves.
Their kindness and generosity brought us to tears.
Many arrived with shovels and wheel barrels.
Men took off work for the day.
The women brought in food.
Children worked beside their parents without complaint.

By the time the water had drained all the way, we became more aware of exactly how much mud had filled the pool.
The shallow end had parts up to 3 1/2 feet.
The deep end that drops down 10 feet had a pile over 2 feet thick.

Friends and neighbors worked all day clear until the evening.

The deep end of the pool was the most difficult to clear.
The heavy mud was shoveled into buckets, that were in turn hoisted by ropes to the pool deck.

Our nephew Tanner may only be 12 years old, but he worked like a man all day long.

Once the buckets of mud reached the pool deck, others dumped the piles into wheel barrels and transferred the muck to the street in front of our house.
Within a few days the town of St. George came to collect the mud.
With a back hoe they scooped up enough mud to fill 2 dump trucks!

Our Bishop, Ralph Armstrong, and his counselors not only helped clean our yard, but the next day went down the street and helped other families clean out their pools.
These men have full time jobs and families, and yet donate many hours of service when ever where ever they are needed.

We cannot even express how grateful we are for all the kindness and immediate action that was shown to us.
When you read the news, and hear all the sad stories that take place in our world, remember there are good people who quietly go about doing good every day, with no recognition or accolades.
People who show up when needed, and make you feel like it's a pleasure to just be together.

Our deepest gratitude goes to Mr. Cactus' brother Gary, and our Sister In Law Lori, who were on the spot with in minutes, gave up sleep that first night, worked long hours, and check on our home constantly while we live out of state.
Little did they know that being related to us they would sign up for such a chore.
When words cannot even begin to express our appreciation, they immediately wave off any compliments and say "Oh, it's no problem at all. We haven't done much."
Thank you, thank you, thank you Gary and Lori (and Tanner!)

The good news is that the pool is now filled with clear, blue water.
A landscape crew has put the yard back in order.
We will need to replace some carpets inside the house, but because of Gary and Lori's fast action the rest of our home is fine.
And we hope to have a swim party like this one very soon, and invite all of our neighbors, friends and church members over as a BIG THANK YOU.


Suzan said...

Wow that was a storm and a half. What great Christian friends you have.
Ladybug Cottage

Brown Dirt Cottage said...

Oh my goodness Nedra!!! What a awful mess and MAJOR ordeal to contend with, especially being long distance!!
What better friends and loved ones could anyone ask for!!! If I lived there I would have helped out too!

Sooo glad there wasn't serious damage to the house!!!

LynCC said...

Holy Smokes! TWO TRUCKLOADS of mud filling the pool. What an overwhelming response of help - so heartwarming to hear stories like this after a very sorrowful news week. Thank you for sharing, and I'm really glad your home did not have worse damage!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I had heard of a bad storm in that area but didn't even think of something like that happening. You had so much help - amazing - what great friends you have. And now you must go up there for a pool party and see your friends - have fun :)

Glenna @ Hollyhock Quilts said...


•stephanie• said...

oh. my. stars.
so sorry about that big mess.
what a wonderful example of love and friendship you received from friends, ward and family members, though.
mother nature needs to get a grip!
i hope things are looking up.

{remind me to tell you sometime about my husband's parents' home and a mudslide.}

em's scrapbag said...

I'm glad you were able to get help. St. George has been getting quite a few storms lately.

Carol said...

Oh Nedra...what a mess...but what amazing friends and family to the rescue. Thank you for sharing!

Yuki said...

What a lucky lady you are to have such nice friends and neighbors!

ttfn :) Yuki

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Oh goodness! That's insane! So happy to hear that everyone pitched in and helped clean up. I can not imagine how much mud y'all moved. You are truly blessed with amazing family and friends.

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Wow! That is a lot of mud! (but I'll bet the boys had a little fun in it too~ where else can you get so dirty and your parents don't mind?) You have a wonderful 'family' in Utah!

Ann & Roger said...

I sent the email before I looked at your blog. Your beautiful back yard, brought tears. If we can help let us know.

Cathy said...

Oh Wow, what a story Nedra, and what fabulous support you have been shown by your church friends and your family. xo

Stephanie said...

What a muddy mess! The kindness of others is a wonderful thing. Glad all is well. On a lighter note -- don't people pay tons of money in expensive spas for mud pack treatments? I wonder if your family and friends notice a difference in their skin.

fiberchick said...

What a mess but what even greater friends!

Cynthia said...

That must have been so nerve racking! Your family and ward members did such an incredible job, you must be so thankful for them. That is an amazing amount of mud! What a gorgeous pool and home :)

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry that happened! Thanks Heavens for family and friends. I bet the kids had a little fun in the mud too!

Live Well With Judi said...

Nedra: I wondered about your home and the pool, etc. when I heard the news about the flashing flooding in St. George. I had hoped you fared well...and in some ways you did with all that wonderful help. In other, what a mess! I am so glad that you were able to save things and put things back together again. Hugs, Judi

Gayle said...

Nedra - I'm slow reading blogs this week - how shocking to read about your recent misadventures! Is your home still being rented?

Truffle queen said...

Heavens! So, so sorry! We need rain so badly here - most of the corn is a total disaster - don't know about the beans yet. What a wonderful group of friends and family you have who came to the rescue! Hope you can rest now!

Cindy said...

Thanks Nedra for a heartwarming story. I'm glad things ended well. We truly are surrounded by wonderful people.

Jana said...

Is it only me but I am having a time and a half trying to read the pictures to prove I'm not a robot when I leave comments!

Have been without a computer and using just my phone when traveling so just now getting to be able to comment easily.

I had heard about this sorry you were caught in the middle of it! What a crazy mess! But isn't is great to have ward friends to come help in times of need?! So glad it was just the pool that caught the brunt of the slide!