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Feature St. Edward

Pulling Together: St. Edward residents count on each other after tragedy

MOVING JOB — Guy Scheffler and Gene Shively load cabinets out of the St. Edward Advance office last week.

By Gabby Christensen
When it comes to natural disaster or emergencies, one thing remains certain for the people of St. Edward—they can count on one another when tragedy strikes.
Over the past several weeks, St. Edward has worked diligently to rebuild and recover its homes and businesses after the recent flooding washed through town, destroying buildings, vehicles and anything else in its path.
Despite the overwhelming damage and long process ahead, locals have proven that nothing can deter their commitment to community.
Evacuations Begin
When the flood rushed into town on Wednesday, March 13, Cloverlodge Care Center housed and fed several individuals evacuated from their homes.
According to Theresa Naber, administrator at the Cloverlodge Care Center, staff members from outside the community spent the night to help provide comfort to the evacuees, as well as to ensure resident care remained unchanged.
“Our St. Edward community, resident families and team member families were all awesome by being understanding and working together,” Naber said. “We also received water, food and paper product donations. It was amazing.”
Naber said participating in this emergency event has made staff more prepared for future disasters.
Currently, Cloverlodge is planning a fundraiser to help support team members affected by the flood.
Evacuees also stayed at churches and the St. Edward Fire Hall during the flooding. Neighbors took in families who had nowhere else to go.
Assessing Damage
As water continued to rise on Wednesday afternoon, St. Edward resident Chrystal Tharnish knew there was nothing she could do but watch as the water quickly surrounded her home.
“I lived on my own island,” Tharnish said. “I listened as vehicles drove by on the flooded street to the west of us and water sloshed against the house like big waves.”
When Tharnish left her home to head to work that afternoon, the water was to her knees as she waded to her car.
Soon enough, while working night shift at Cloverlodge, Tharnish was informed that water had filled her home.
The following day, Tharnish said she and her husband, Glen, were able to see that damage to their home was extensive and they would lose many belongings.
“As we walked across our floors, we could feel they were buckled under our feet,” Tharnish said. “Carpet and flooring were sloppy wet. I opened our pan cupboard and water fell out. My dresser drawer on the bottom was full of water and all the clothes where soaked.”
The Tharnishs’ had eight to 10 inches of water covering their main living space, with the basement completely full.
The family lost two vehicles, all of their living room furniture and many other household items.
“We were essentially homeless at that point,” Tharnish said.
The Tharnishs are currently living in a temporary house until a permanent rental is available.
Other St. Edward families were also displaced during the flood and lost many belongings.
Some, like the Tharnish’s, will not be able to move back into their homes.

Read the complete story in the April 10 issue of the St. Edward Advance/Albion News print and e-editions.