BLACKFOOT – In 24 years, Sue Moeller had never seen anything like it.
There was water everywhere. Her Blackfoot yard, once a place where she could sit in the sun on her lawn benches, was submerged. The land where she grows her garden was under water. She stood on her porch, her house an island in a shallow lake.
On Tuesday, she and her husband, John, were keeping an eye on the field next to their property. Temperatures had risen and by 4 p.m., the snow in the field was melting.
“I think we’re gonna be in trouble, I’ve gotta get busy,” John told his wife.
John hopped on his tractor and drove it to the edge of his yard and began to pack down snow to try and stop the water flowing into their yard. But it was melting too fast.
By 6 p.m., Sue says “water just started pouring in.”
“It was like the floodgates opened up,” she said. “We didn’t know what to do. It was coming so fast. It took away what he had packed down.”
Sue saw water flowing through her back door down the stairs. She grabbed a large blanket and rolled it between the screen and the door, leaving just a trickle. But while she did that, the sound from her basement was like a waterfall.
“John, water’s coming in the basement!” Sue called out to her husband.
John ran down the stairs to save what he could before it flooded completely. At its highest point, the water level was two feet away from the ceiling.
John shut the breakers off to the basement to stop the water from becoming electrified.
About three hours later, the Moeller’s yard had completely flooded. The entire basement, and everything in it, was destroyed.
“I don’t want to know about it,” Sue told her husband. “Every time you check the basement, don’t tell me. It’s just stuff. I don’t want to get upset.”Logan Ramsey | EastIdahoNews.com
Sue, not normally one to ask for help, made a post on Facebook about what was happening. Neighbors quickly arrived to pump water into the canal next to their property.
By Friday, the water level on their property had been reduced by five feet.
But the yard is still filled with water, and it gets deeper towards the back of the property. The Moeller’s and the people helping them are hesitant to pump too much water into the canal because of ice dams. It could cause more flooding in other places.
Skyler Belnap, who owns All Hours Cleaning and Restoration, was among those who responded to Sue’s post. He says part of the reason flood waters got so high is because there’s still frost on the ground, which makes it difficult for the water to dissipate.
He decided to help the Moeller’s out and not charge them for his time.
“The goal is to try and get their water situation dealt with and not flood other people at the same time,” explained Belnap. “I can make money other places. Sometimes it’s not about money. It’s just about being there to give a little hope.”
Since then, others have stopped by to bring the Moeller’s food, sandbags, water pumps and other supplies.
Though they’re overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity, the timing of the flood and everything they’ve lost is upsetting to them. The couple just finished work on their basement and John was planning to retire in the next couple of years.
The amount of people who have rallied together is a major boost to the Moeller’s. Sue expressed her gratitude for everyone’s support in a Facebook post on Thursday.
“I am so moved by the people of our community that have stopped by, messaged and called. Complete strangers, friends, neighbors and family have stopped by to help, brought food, brought gas, brought pumps and just to wish us well. What has happened is devastating but we’ll get through it,” Sue wrote.
They’re looking forward to getting their yard back and being able to sit in the sun by the garden again.
“Blackfoot is my home and I truly know why I call it my home,” Sue said.Logan Ramsey | EastIdahoNews.com
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