Letter: Helping hands, Good Samaritans in abundance in Verde Valley
On the night of February 14th Beaver Creek, Oak Creek and the Verde River all escaped their boundaries and caused significant damage to the landscape, roads, parks and homes.
Our home was one that was devastated. At the crest of the flood we had nearly four feet of water in our home. Into the wee hours of the night we fought with family, friends and neighbors to save and protect what we could.
At midnight, physically exhausted and emotionally empty we retreated to safety of our parents home. With no sleep, we returned the next morning to fully understand the depth of devastation.
Our belongings were washed away as the torrent of rushing water removed doors and windows with no traces left behind.
Items that were not washed away were, in many cases, no longer recognizable and certainly not salvageable. We were in shock.
Then, as the minutes that seemed like days passed, we saw it ... family, friends, neighbors and strangers arriving with shovels to deal with the six inches of mud in the house, trucks to haul away debris, and arms to hold our grieving hearts. It was like nothing we had ever seen.
Everyone pitched in and work to save that which could be saved and remove everything else.
The task was arduous but they were resolved to be there for us. Barry and Karen Church (mom and dad), Gary and Marci Bateman, Aaron, Sandy, Brina and Ethan Church (bother and family), Sean James, Steven, Misty, Reily and Casey Weatherford, Pete and Debbie Roulette, Dana Schumacher, Wendy Blake, Eck and Ramona Doerry, Dave Anderson, Supervisor Randy and Debbie Garrison, Dave Zimmerman, Dave and Nick Fox, Mark Rodman, Nancy Palatnik, Marilyn Hardt, Mark Hooton, Lynn Graham, Chuck and Anne Sechrist, Bob and Linda Michael, Luke, Crystal and Steven DuFresne, Quinn Franklin, Francisco Tapia, Kathy, Frank and Cybil, green Ford John, Dave and the other Dave and his brother, Connie and Dick, Ms. Katherine Forbes and her AVID class at Mingus Union High School.
The list of family and friends, near and far, that called to offer shelter, food and assistance was astounding.
As each day passed more and different people arrived, strangers stopped to offer water, food and shelter.
The Beaver Creek and surrounding communities rallied to offer help and support to everyone damaged by the flooding. Yavapai County Public Works, Development Services, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management Services and Supervisor Thomas Thurman were in full force to ensure safety, offer resources and support.
It has been three weeks now and I am able to reflect on what was lost through a lens of ABSOLUTE gratitude.
We have been so blessed by our family, friends, neighbors and community.
I would give away everything I own to know and feel the true love and caring hand of these beautiful people.
We are looking forward to a very bright tomorrow.
Matthew and Brandi Bateman