Most of you who read this blog probably keep up with us from our update letters or via Facebook, and if so, this post may not contain new information.
On Tuesday, September 26, we left the house we rent (and have rented for 12 years now) for our mission’s annual missionary family conference which was being held at a relatively close location this year in Tequisquiapan (about 30 minute drive from here).
That night, a tremendous thunderstorm rolled through the region dumping a lot of rain in a short period of time (I never read a statistic on just how much that was). The dam upriver from San Juan del Río apparently was already nearly full and the sudden influx of runoff caused the government agency overseeing the dam to decide they needed to open the floodgates in order to preserve the integrity of the dam. This was apparently not done in a careful manner or in a limited way, so the volume of water that was released over a few hours overwhelmed the small riverbed and the river (a “creek” in most spots) was completely breached and dozens of neighborhoods in and near San Juan del Río were flooded with about a meter of water. Our neighborhood, being just about 600 feet from the riverbed, likewise was flooded to about 3 feet depth.
We heard about this on the Wednesday morning that followed and came home from the conference to discover the water had receded earlier but our house had water in it (some areas of the house only had a layer of mud/dirt, other areas had an inch or so of standing water). The basement though became the bottom recipient of about 14 to 16 inches of water and muck. The library is mostly down there and all the books on the bottom shelves and any books stacked on the floor were lost as well as some science and other resources. All told, we lost over 1,000 books (about 200 of them were important to the education ministry and another 400 of them were very difficult to lose; the rest were not of particular importance). Of course, Beth is the book lady here, and this was a tough knock for her. There’s nothing we could do about it, and we’ve experienced more difficult circumstances in our lives before, so we’ll move on despite the painful loss.
Here are some pics from that Wednesday all the way up to just a couple days ago when our co-workers and an intern who had just arrived the day before who helped us get the bulk of the books and bookcases out of the basement so that repairs can be made. For the next month or so, we’ll probably have all the books from the basement stacked in our front living room and the plastic bookcases stacked outside in the patio.