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Jim Hammes and Liz Hammes interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, October 9, 2008

Jim Hammes and Liz Hammes interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, October 9, 2008


Jim Hammes and Liz Hammes interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, October 9, 2008


Interview with husband and wife Jim Hammes (62) of Sigourney, Iowa and Liz Hammes (62) of Millersburg, Iowa
Jim (age 62) and Liz (age 62) Hammes, owners of the Thatcher Moblie Home Park, recall the community effort involved in building a sandbag dike that saved many mobile homes from the floods. President George W. Bush, along with Iowa Governor Chet Culver and Congressman Dave Loebsack, visited the mobile home park during the floods.
Going to head to a wedding, it was canceled. How deal with flood and the trailer park? It is a large acreage; concerns about sandbagging; realized by Friday night situation would be bad (00:00:26) -- Many kids helping with parents. Man from city recommended building a dike with bulldozer (00:02:05) -- Lawyers, doctors came; a homeless man came and worked for a meal; bikers helped (00:03:39) -- Congressman Loebsack helped to sandbag; Salvation Army helped greatly (00:05:19) -- Many volunteers came after work; Fire Dept. brought lights to help work at night (00:06:35) -- Couldn't get sand, quarried their own; Governor Culver visited, made calls to get more sand (00:07:42) -- One night in big storm, nobody wanted to stop working; son's house used as office. Son got engaged to a woman he met during sandbagging. 10 pumps going at once in trailer park (00:09:16) -- National Guard came & brought equipment (00:11:44) -- Told to evacuate trailer park; kept pumps going (00:12:20) -- Friends helped with packing (00:13:02) -- Many residents lived through '93 flood, more prepared this time (00:14:12) -- Liz and Jim took a camper to stay in son's yard inside the trailer park (00:15:27) -- Maintaining humor & good spirits (00:16:29) -- Jim - the flood changed his outlook on operating business; better relationship with tenants (00:17:15) -- Fish caught in pumps; Mayor came and offered help (00:18:30) -- Dike was 3,000 ft. long; President Bush visited; Culver came again and Loebsack (00:19:12) -- Secret Service checkout the place before the president (00:20:44) -- Glad to be a success story; city helped to build dike, now the city wants it removed (00:21:52) -- 60 homes saved; Jim and Liz got letters from volunteers for motivation (00:22:40) -- Streets rebuilt in park; engineering help from city (00:23:49) -- Ate McDonald's meals during sandbagging, it tasted like steak. Concern about keeping dike intact because city wants it removed (00:25:07) -- Tenants become closer because of the flood; one volunteer lives there now (00:26:46) -- Everybody has some helpful jobs to assist in flood prevention efforts (00:28:25) -- Strong National Guardsmen throwing sandbags around with one arm (00:29:35) -- Had 2 hour evacuation notice; families did very well to evacuate (00:30:56) -- Helping other businesses in building dikes, it was community effort to make sure everyone was safe from flood (00:33:22) -- Finding whatever sand available; very costly financially, but business intact (00:34:33) -- Groundwater even after flood; continued flooding. Sandbags thrown in storm sewer, floodwater came up from the sewer anyway (00:36:03) -- Everybody working together; female reporters in heels walking through mud (00:38:22)


Hammes, Jim; Hammes, Liz


University of Iowa. Dept. of Anthropology; University of Iowa. Libraries. Digital Research & Publishing




Harder, Chris


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Iowa City Flood
Flood Oral Histories






Oral histories (Document genres)