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Former Flood Victims Feel For Current Ones

October 30, 2012, 5:03 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Former Flood Victims Feel For Current Ones
ABERDEEN, SD -

Those who've battled flooding here in KELOLAND say they can relate to some of the troubles storm victims will be going through.

Cal Cunningham's Aberdeen home was sitting in water five years ago, so his heart goes out to those battling floods on the east coast.

"I feel sorry for them. It's a bad situation," Cunningham said.

When Cunningham battled flooding it cost him a lot of time and money. He says it took a few years to recover and he still has some work to do.

Water filled Cunningham’s basement but didn’t enter the main level of his home in 2007. So, he knows there are people now on the east coast who have it a lot worse than he did. He's sure they'll all have a long recovery ahead.

City leaders say it'll be the same on the government side of things.

"The scale of what they're experiencing out there right now is something we can't even fathom," Stuart Nelson said.

Nelson is Aberdeen's assistant city engineer. He said when Aberdeen dealt with flooding, demand for the city's equipment and personnel was much higher than resources the city had.

He's sure entities all along the east coast are experiencing the same thing at a larger scale. And he says unexpected issues will surface.

"So you just hope that your emergency preparedness plan will allow you to deal with those things and either get the word out or be able to dispatch some resources and take care of the problem," Nelson said.

Speaking from experience, Cunningham can guarantee many of the storm victims are overwhelmed now.

"It's hard to explain," Cunningham said.

And he can guarantee many will be working through storm-related problems for months if not years to come.

Cunningham said one of the biggest challenges for him was getting contractors to come and fix damage because everyone needed them at one time.

Stuart said some problems caused by the Aberdeen flood didn't even surface for a couple years and figures it will be even worse on the east coast.

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