Flood Destroys Years of Work

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Victims of the flash flood in Arlington have a long road ahead of them. Cleaning up and moving on has been a tough process, as people discover just how much they've lost.

    Christopher and Melissa Page rushed home from work Wednesday to find the 2-story townhome they shared with their two children flooded. The Willows at Shady Valley condo complex was under water.

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    "This was our first home. This is where we wanted to stay to raise our kids. We love the community," Christopher said through tears. "Our home is lost, and we're not getting it back. All of our son's stuff was pretty much all ruined."

    Most of their belongings now fill a dumpster. Things they worked years for were all gone in one morning. "Where do you start? I mean, you know you need these things. You know you need clothes, you know you need shoes, you know you need food," Melissa said.

    Memories captured in photographs are now washed away. The colors are smeared, the faces unrecognizable. "The one picture I had of my father was in here somewhere," Christopher said while going through wet photos. "My wife, her whole family since she was a child."

    The couple had just remodeled their home. The new cabinets are now sitting by the curb, already growing mold. "We came out here and bought our first home and tried to make a life for our children. Poured everything into our home," he said.

    The water line on the wall inside their home is about two feet above ground. The flood waters were up to eight feet deep in some areas of the parking lot. "The force of the water exiting blew a hole in the wall," Christopher said, pointing to his master bedroom closet.

    The entire first floor is covered in mud. The family's future is uncertain. "This is all that's pretty much left in the house -- in boxes, ready to go somewhere," he said, looking at their possessions packed in moving boxes. Churches, Community Provide Aid

    Arlington churches have been stepping up all week to help flood victims. Volunteers have helped alongside the Red Cross and Salvation Army to clean out flooded homes.

    Fielder Road Baptist Church collected $11,000 in donations during its Sunday morning worship services. The church also donated $10,000 more out of its own funds.

    "You're just devastated because you know it could happen to any of us. And that's what we are in being a community here in Arlington is we want to help each other. And so your heart just goes out whenever you see the devastation," Gary Smith, senior pastor, said.

    Rush Creek Christian Church opened its doors to give flood victims temporary housing. Arlington residents can now apply for disaster assistance to help with any storm damage repairs. The city will offer curbside debris pickup through Thursday.