Jamie Meyer had a lot going on in her life when she found out her town had been affected by severe flooding. With a new baby due at any moment, Meyer and her fiancé were not expecting a call at the hospital saying his father had passed away. They headed home to retrieve some necessities to prepare for his funeral. They were not at all prepared for what they found.
“I didn’t realize the flooding had happened until we were driving home to Chelsea from the hospital. The Iowa River was so high you couldn’t even get into town,” Meyer said. “I could tell it was bad because I heard a firefighter say he had gotten stuck in the flooding on our street. The firefighters told us that if we tried to set foot in the water we would be arrested, because the area was too far gone.”
Meyer said everyone in town thought the river going down and thought they would be fine. But then, it stormed again and the water quickly rose again.
After seeing what was left of Chelsea, Meyer said she called the American Red Cross immediately. Her daughter helped volunteer for a Red Cross disaster team in Joplin, Missouri, and she knew the Red Cross would be able to help. “I called them and they showed up to help me that same day,” Meyer said. “They provided me with a hotel to stay in for three days, along with money for food, diapers, and clothing since all of ours had been destroyed.” She recalled how grateful she was that Red Cross was there with what they needed at the time.
It took more than two weeks for the flood waters to recede in Chelsea. Meyer returned to her home when it was safe and said the result was not good. The flooding shifted her foundation and destroyed most of the interior of her home. She said she plans to move out of Chelsea to a town far away from a river. She does not want to go through this situation again. “To this day people are still cleaning up,” Meyer said. “It’s good to have someone there like the Red Cross that you know you can rely on and call in those situations. They helped me out so much, and I really appreciate it.”