Npr News, Steven Skip, Damon Mitchell discussed on Morning Edition


To transform mental health through research learn more at MQ mental health dot org slash NPR It's morning edition from NPR news I'm Steven skip And I may Martinez In 2021 climate driven weather disaster swept across the U.S. There was a weeklong heat wave in Washington state Historic wildfires in Colorado and extreme cold in Texas that's just to name three Some of these events pushed entire communities out of their homes leaving thousands trying to rebuild their lives Damon Mitchell with member station N has been following one family near Nashville who survived a flood that killed 20 people Gretchen Turner is standing in the driveway of her two story craftsman style home She's gathered with about a half dozen volunteers They're looking back on the day of the flood God's head is in all this Oh There's no doubt And we lost 20 lives but there were probably 2000 miracles that day Gretchen is one of many longtime waverly residents trying to figure out how to move her family Ford After the flood And whether to rebuild or leave an area that she's been in since she was a kid The rush of water made her home unlivable The entire first floor had to be gutted with the floors and wall stripped It's now a construction site I first met Gretchen about a week after the flooding hit when her neighbors were trying to gather what was left She was mostly worried about one thing Another flood coming through My husband literally retired on Sunday And we have X amount of dollars in our retirement fund to last us the rest of our lives We can't take a significant part of that out to invest in our House without some assurance that this is not going to happen again Like many survivors of extreme weather disasters Gretchen is exhausted There have been several major floods and waverly But the others weren't destructive enough to make people reconsider if they should stay in town Global warming is leading to heavier rainforests In August more than 20 inches of rain fell in waverly in 24 hours It overflowed the local creek wiping out entire apartment buildings and businesses Blocks of people were displaced from their homes We're so fortunate And there's a lot of trauma out there and I just need to count my blessings 5 months later several flood damaged cars and homes look untouched and in some areas piles of debris have become a normal part of the scenery Some people have left the town with no plans to come back The fear that there could be another deadly flood a few years from now and more extreme weather deaths has kept Gretchen on the fence about rebuilding her century owed home Doing that only to have the house severely damaged by future flooding is a risky investment For now.

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