There was banging at the door, loud thumps, and the dogs were barking. My husband and I slowly began to awake and get out of bed. The inside of our house depicted no signs of trouble or abnormality. I could hear the rain pounding on our roof as my husband answered the door and tended to the dogs. Immediately, he asked me to look outside. Being 2am, I reluctantly agreed to do so. When I looked outside, into our back yard, the water was already at least a foot high and completely filled our laundry room at the same level. Confused, I asked my husband questions and collected whatever little information he had, knowing neither of us knew exactly what was going on.
After inspecting the perimeter of our house, it became clear that we were surrounded by water and a LOT of it. I frantically told my husband that whatever was happening was not good; it was not normal. I grabbed my cellphone and immediately did my best to contact someone, anyone really. I tried our landlord, neighbors and friends but was unsure of the severity of our experience. All of our vehicles were half way under water already, with waves reaching half way up the car doorways. The water rose quickly, swiftly removing our heavy wood walk way from our front yard, and carrying it down the street. Truly, I believed our cars were not savable, as I watched them drown in the river that had formed outside of our home. My husband, in slippers and cargo shorts, optimistically rushed to save them. With water up to his knees as he drove them down the street and successfully placed two of our vehicles onto higher ground.
Neighbors lined the dark wet street. Some were stranded on their porches while others ventured into the river that had replaced the road in between us, as they checked on each other and delivered sandbags.
Quickly, the water began to cover our front porch and pour through the front door and our walls. Water quickly washed over our floors as it began to fill our house. Immediately, my husband and I knew we would not be able to stay in our home. I called for help, unsure whether or not our vehicles would allow us to evacuate. My sister in law answered and quickly gathered that something was very very wrong. I gathered our basic belongings and pet supplies and stuffed the nearest bags I could find with everything that I had grabbed. Eventually we knew that we would not be able to wait for help. The water was rising quickly. We packed the bags onto our backs and grabbed each one of our animals and waded into the ice cold, dirty and dark, knee-high water. After a few trips, we had successfully loaded our four animals and belongings into both of our cars. Our cars were soaking wet; our bags were soaking wet; us and our animals were soaking wet, cold and shaken up but we were miraculously able to drive our vehicles to higher, safer ground.
We met my brother and sister in law in a safe area and barely made it out of town before the landslides began to hit Aberdeen and Hoquiam. Roads began to close and evacuation became increasingly more difficult for those who remained in town. The event began to hit major news stations in the surrounding areas. What we were experiencing was not common, nor mild. What we were going through was one of the biggest natural floods our community had experienced in well over 50 years.
In the days that followed, those in our community who had to evacuate, slowly were able to return to their homes.
The water had reached between 3-5 inches in every room of our home. Beds, couches, end tables, night stands, desks and other household items were destroyed, soaked with muddy sewer water and debris. Garbage, wood, trash cans and mud filled our street and yard. Neighbors took hundreds of truck loads of furniture and garbage from homes in our community to emergency dumpsters that were placed in our area. The devastation became abundantly more clear as the Governor of Washington State declared a State of Emergency and our town reached National News.
Numerous families in our area lost belongings, animals, homes and vehicles. Our town had been ultimately devastated by this natural disaster.
In the bible, the Lord says the rain will fall on the just and unjust. When you place so much of your contentment and happiness in your life on material things, you will quickly come to realize that some of your most prized possessions can be swiftly taken away by a flood or fire. However when you put full faith in the maker of this world, you will be grounded in an eternal foundation, regardless of the circumstances that surround you.
The Lord comes to bring you LIFE. He comes to make Beauty from the Ashes.
“I will not cause pain without allowing new to be born, Says the Lord.” Isaiah 66:9
Sometimes, God sends you angels in disguise, in ways you never would have expected. He has solutions in progress before your problems even occur. My husband and I can’t thank Him enough for everything He has done in the last few days, to reassure us that He has absolutely everything under control. He has placed us in such an amazingly supportive community, surrounded by amazing people. God is SO good!
We have been shown kindness, generosity and encouragement from complete strangers, neighbors, family and friends that has blessed our family beyond words! Numerous families and individuals in our community have reached out to help us. Our hearts are honestly FULL regardless of what was lost. We have been brought meals, baked goods, cleaning supplies, basic necessities and household items. Many people have volunteered their time or vehicles to help us clean up our home.
We are blessed to serve a God who brings LIFE to the dead, who makes BEAUTY from the ashes. He will never forsake us, His love never changes. Malachi 3:6