Our good friends Mike & Chrissi Krause lost their house to the flood. Unfortunately, they live in one of the Bellevue neighborhoods that was totally wiped out. I've worked with Mike for the past 3 years & I've gotten to know his wife Chrissi through him. Chrissi has been cutting my hair this past year as she makes her way through Paul Mitchell. Some of you may remember Chrissi from my bridal showers, bachelorette party, etc.
Mike & Chrissi were in Florida this weekend for a wedding & came home to this on Sunday. They couldn't even get to their house until Monday because of the water. When the water receded, they found their house filled with 6 feet of water. Their garage, living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, closet & 2 bathrooms were completely destroyed, not to mention Chrissi's car, which was parked in the garage. They were able to salvage most of their clothes, but that's about it. All of their furniture, laptops, electronics, kitchen appliances, washer, dryer, etc. are ruined. They also lost things like their wedding album & family bible.
It was heartbreaking to see all of these things wet, out on their front lawn. I helped Chrissi log everything onto a legal pad & then add it to the trash pile. Then we cleaned everything we thought could be salvaged & boxed it up for storage. While we were doing this, the guys were demolishing the inside, while another team of girls started packing everything in the house that wasn't destroyed.
Today I think they've got a team coming for more demo. They've got to rip out everything that got wet, so it doesn't mold, i.e. drywall, molding, hardwood floors, carpet, etc. We're all going back later this week when they actually move out. They'll need help packing, loading the moving truck & taking things to storage, not to mention, general moral support.
I'm not going to lie, yesterday was rough. I've been through major disasters before, but this is the first time people I care about were so directly affected. It was surreal to see their neighborhood. I don't care what you've seen on the news this week, you haven't seen this. I was not at all prepared for what I saw & it was hard not to cry as Mike drove us back to his house.
Also, the sense of community that I saw yesterday is nothing short of amazing. Lowe's was there giving every house a case of bottled water; women were walking through the neighborhood handing out drinks & sandwiches; neighbors were helping neighbors -if you needed a tool you didn't have, all you had to do was walk next door. People were also going to door to door asking who needed help. Volunteer state, indeed.
If anyone reading this knows Mike & Chrissi & wants to help, they would greatly appreciate gift cards to big box retailers like Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kroger, Publix, etc. They could also use restaurant gift cards as they'll likely be eating every meal out for months.
Lastly, if anyone wants to help, there are tons of ways to do so. Outside of Tennessee, text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation &/or make a donation directly to The Community Foundation. Locally, you can volunteer for Hands on Nashville. If you have people in your neighborhood affected, I suggest walking down there & offering help via manual labor, bottled water & food. A little goes a long way.
Photostream from yesterday here.