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Judy Miller and Kenneth Miller interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, Iowa, October 7, 2008

Judy Miller and Kenneth Miller interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, Iowa, October 7, 2008


Judy Miller and Kenneth Miller interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa City, Iowa, October 7, 2008


Interview with wife and husband Judy Miller (50) of Dubuque, Iowa and Kenneth L. Miller (46) of Casper, Wyoming
Judy (age 50) and Kenneth (age 46) Miller remember the flooding of their home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The couple recall many good Samaritans that have helped the Miller's recover as the couple attempts to rebuild their home.
Tuesday night Judy planned to sandbag (00:00:37) -- Ken said Judy shouldn't because the house would be evacuated (00:01:26) -- Judy's car was near Dairy Queen in Cedar Rapids, she did get car and it would have been flooded if she didn't. Ken is disabled. Asked meter man to show her how to turn off meter in basement. Loaded up stuff & dogs - 2 basset hounds. Judy grew up in Dubuque her whole life did not really know how to prepare for flood; tried to make decisions about what to do; did not really understand that water would be higher than basement; neighbors told Judy that previous flood only gave couple feet of water in their basement (00:01:30) -- Left Harley motorcycle (Ken's 40th birthday present); friend took it to Dan's brother's garage (00:06:02) -- 103-year-old home took water up to the ceiling in the garage; lost 4 cars (00:07:00) -- Lost everything on the first floor; neighbors helped (00:07:49) -- Makes you feel good when people come by and help; co-worker gives Judy a hug daily and give moral support. Would have had house paid for in 10 years if not for flood. There are good people (00:08:24) -- Seen side of human race - good side - one church gave out $100.00 gift certificate; another person gave $100.00 bill; things like this blew Judy away (00:09:43) -- People in Judy's van pool gave her brand new coffee maker (00:10:50) -- Ken: had to be on waiting list for contractors; Ken was lucky that he could do some of the work himself; said lost 4 cars; he is restoring one himself; he is going to save the pool table as well JM: Z29 68 that he is restoring to pass on to his son. Judy admires Ken's patience. Toughest thing is the heart wrenching things - 3 weeks before flood had to put 14 year old basset hound down; week of flood had to put down 14 year old cat (00:11:25) -- Got a puppy after the flood; he makes them laugh; because of flood he got parvo; died end of August. Judy didn't think she could take anymore. The puppy was their sunshine when they felt like throwing in the towel (00:14:30) -- Week or so ago got 7 ½ month old puppy; have 8 year old basset that was abused; adopted him (age 4?). New dog "Reily" gives them new hope (00:15:00) -- Dog loves them unconditionally; does not care if they have to cook out of the garage (00:17:00) -- Do not take things for granted like hot water; learned to live without TV; cook with gas grill and crockpot. We both come from good strong German stock. Judy- didn't know if they could make the house safe enough for Ken's health and new grandchild (00:17:35) -- Became grandparents Sept 1st, it was a happy moment (00:18:50) -- We are making our house better than before; the good side of the flood; awesome furnace now; concerned about Ken's lung disease and the new baby's health (00:20:00) -- Making the home healthier and compatible for old age; ramp, shower bar etc.; reconfigure house and make bigger; now can fit large family in house for holidays (00:21:00) -- Ken - windows are now modern technology; say goodbye to 103 year old windows; flood exposed wood rot so they were able to fix it; like getting a new house Judy - house is greener now; basement is much better; less bugs (00:23:00) -- Judy - I remember when I packed to evacuate. I forgot to pack underwear for you (Ken)…had to go buy new ones. Thursday 12 June at the veterinarian with Wriggly (pet), was called and told water was high; Judy started to cry; veterinarian tech offered help, offered a place to stay; people like that were heroes. Friday 13th saw how high the water was at the mother mosque; Judy took dogs for walk and had a good cry; did not want Ken to see her cry. Called FEMA and asked to start paperwork. Ken - Had to run on generators for energy at the house; had 7 gas cans @ gas station; Met a lady and sons from Boise, Idaho helped Judy and Ken remove the kitchen floor (00:24:47) -- People from Sioux City helped gut basement; haul out stuff; they had only met once; another couple brought them a generator; people, again, that they barely knew; they have made new friends due to the flood (00:28:00) -- Adam worked very hard on our house; now that he is a dad he is busy, but comes out every chance he gets. People at hospital give support. I have worked there 23 years. UI Hospital has given money. Co-workers have given time & help. Susan threw a Pampered Chef party to replace some of Judy's housewares (kitchen equipment). Judy is very concerned about what to save and what to throw away. The last pictures of Rerun and Radar, pictures of my mom out of the cedar chest. Judy salvaged Ken's Boyscout uniform (00:30:00) -- Judy - I remember the time you gave me a patch off your uniform. Ken - You deserved it. Judy - I'll be glad when we get back to old routine, when biggest worry is what to put in the crockpot (00:33:47) -- Just think how many people are far behind us. We didn't shut windows 2 months (00:35:00) -- Someone broke into the house! Judy - going to work has kept me sane. Everyone has been so good to me at work and very understanding (00:36:00) -- Had to heat water on grill to do dishes; taking showers is hard; lots of tears; dogs - walking them is good; dogs love me unconditionally. Biggest hurdle was when got house treated/sanitized for mildew. Big deal to new the windows and doors (00:39:00)


Miller, Judy; Miller Kenneth L.


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




Font, Teresa


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Iowa City Flood
Flood Oral Histories






Oral histories (Document genres)