MASON CITY, Iowa - It's been two days since heavy rains caused extensive flooding in the Mason City area, and many homeowners are working hard to clean up the mess left behind.
The Eastbrooke neighborhood was one of the hardest hit areas. Piles of wet carpet, sheet rock, shelving, even furniture, are stacked curb-side waiting for it to be picked up and hauled away. In addition, many streets are coated with a differing layer of mud and debris.
Marty Ramaekers has lived in the neighborhood for a little over 30 years, and got nearly 1 1/2 feet of water in his basement. When the water came rushing in on Saturday, he says it had to go somewhere, and unfortunately not in the best of places.
"Our house was surrounded foundation to foundation with water. And all the way from the creek and back, but the sump pumps were actually keeping up. It was just the back flow of the sanitary sewer that caused most of our issues," Ramaekers says.
As clean up began, the family realized precious memories were lost.
"My wife had most of our photo albums and pictures stored down there. And we lost a lot of that stuff, but it's just things. Nobody was hurt, and we can recover," Ramaekers adds.
Roger Tietjens lives just up Yorktown Pike from the Ramaekers.
"We have those wooden plugs the fire department gave years ago, and that stopped it. And then on Saturday, it was coming up through the bathtub. So we bucketed it and got it out of there and kept up with it, and didn't get much more than an inch in the basement. The insurance is telling us to get rid of the carpet, so that's what we're working on now," Tietjens says.
The flooding is prompting him to get more items to prepare for any future incidents.
"I'm probably gonna get a generator now too, just so if we ever do have this again, we'll have a backup. I don't care if it sits in the garage and never gets used, but I'm gonna get a generator and some hose for the backup sump pump," Tietjens says.
As soon as the waters receded, Ramaekers says the neighborhood pitched in to help those in need.
"Can't say enough for my neighbors. All the help they gave us, and all the way they helped everybody in the neighborhood. If there was an upside to this kind of thing, it was really neat to see how the neighborhood came together and worked and helped each other out. What a really, really great bunch of neighbors," Ramaekers notes.