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Flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, left many families without homes that were safe to live in. Several homes were condemned and many others needed significant structural support. Last year, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Workers focused their attention on removing exterior and interior walls and this year the attention is being given to rebuilding where possible.
Our team consisted of Barb Ball, Bob and Dale Burnett, Billy and Mary Lou Forsee, Hattie Kate and Roger Howell, Rachel Novakovic, Cheryl Porrett, Harry Shuford, Jim Wagner, Bruce and Mary Wharram, and Pastor Schwartz. We stayed at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, along with two other work teams, from Pennsylvania and Kansas. The church provided air mattresses, showers and full use of their kitchen.
Our work was coordinated by AmeriCorp VISTA Volunteers who have been actively engaged in flood relief efforts over the last year. For five days, we worked eight to nine hour days drywalling a bedroom, hallway, and kitchen, replacing sections of a hardwood floor, removing and rebuilding floor joints, laying a subfloor in a kitchen, building oak window frames, varnishing, and some of our group spent a day preparing a community garden.
The work was at times strenuous, but all enjoyed having the opportunity to help homeowners who were very grateful for our efforts.