Residents of a Des Moines neighborhood were able to return to their homes for the first time Monday since being driven out by flood waters Saturday.
Alma Ziebell says husband checked out their property by canoe and she says he found they had three fee of water on the first floor — one foot less than in 1993.
Ziebell lives in the Birdland neighborhood that was flooded after a levee failed, but says this was different than 15 years ago. She says they had more time this time and were able to save more of their stuff this time.
Ziebell says she feels sad for many of her neighbors because they are on fixed incomes, and couldn’t afford flood insurance. Ziebell and her 72-year-old husband were out of their house for five months after the ’93 flood and says the thought of starting over again at age 57 is disheartening.
Ziebell says they haven’t decided yet whether they will rebuild after the second flood. "We’re getting older, and it’s hard to move all your stuff out and then see all the stuff you’ve worked for and paid for, go down the drain again," Ziebell says.
Ziebell says even if they do rebuild, and want to sell their home, the levee has to be properly repaired before they’d be able to find a buyer. "Nobody’s gonna wanna live down there," Ziebell says.
Julie Niffenegger cut her arm after slipping on her basement stairs while following a city inspector into her flooded home. Niffenberger landed in five feet of floodwater, and then said the inspector’s report on her home didn’t go much better.
Niffennegger says the inspector says they’ll need a new washer, dryer, water heater, they have to tear out all the dry wall. Niffenegger got a tetnus shot after her fall. Her summer plans were changed dramatically by the flood.
She says they were supposed to go on vacation and their daughter was coming in from North Carolina, but now this is their vacation. Niffenegger accepted a clean up kit from the Red Cross and says the face masks are a must because of the smell from the flooded homes.