On this weekend 10 years ago, many Iowans were cleaning up from flood damage. Barbara and John Long have lived all their lives in the Valley Junction area of West Des Moines, Barbara says she was overcome with emotion when she first saw her partially-submerged home. Long says the first thing she thought was that she’s never be able to live in the neighborhood again. Long says the closer she came to the devastation, she thought she was going to have a heart attack. Long says when she looks at her home now, the flood seems like it was 20 years ago. She says the neighborhood looks great now, and the flood was a blessing in disguise. Barbara’s husband, Johnnie, built the house himself in 1965. It’s a split foyer, and the lower level is only four feet in the ground. Long says when they got back to their home, there was seven feet of water inside. He remodeled, and he says the house is in better shape now than it was brand new, because he knows more now about home-building than he knew in 1965. Long says when he built the house the first time, his sons were in their teens. When the flood hit in ’93, they were older and came back home to help out in the reconstruction, and he says he’s “proud of them” for helping their parents out.
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