From Tragedy To Togetherness: The Story Of A Flood


flooded home
Flood survivors recount how they lost everything but kept their marriages together.

"Everything we knew," explains Katie, "every piece of normalcy in our lives was just gone." The nonprofit office where Katie works was destroyed. During the flood, Andrew worked at a local hospital nearly three quarters of a mile from the river. It too sustained water damage. Katie and Andrew spent the summer fighting for their homes and their jobs. To boot, Katie discovered she was pregnant only three weeks after the flood hit.

"It was not the most relaxing time in our lives," Katie laughs, as she shushes to her two-month-old son. "We had been trying to have a child that spring. When the flood came we didn't think about it much. We heard that it was hard to conceive when you're stressed. But here he is."


For two months after the flood, the couple lived with friends. As Katie worked to rebuild the non-profit, Andrew worked to rebuild their home.

"It was definitely the hardest thing we've gone through as a couple," Katie says. "When Andrew was fighting in Iraq it was hard, but nothing like this. We had no refuge. No place to go for stability. The only people we could turn to were each other." 

Like Linda and Max, Katie says she and Andrew they were too tired to fight. Although they were frustrated and worn out, they tried to make sure they made time for one another. Living in someone else's home, they took a lot of walks to get some private time. In August, the couple took a quick vacation to regroup and relax.

"We didn't talk about the flood at all," Katie says. Katie thinks the flood drew her and Andrew closer. "I saw all the amazing things my husband was capable of." 

Both Katie and Andrew and Linda and Max have seen friends and neighbors torn apart by the flood. Linda says that she witnessed the marriages of her friends undergo a strain that will change them forever, but she's convinced that the worst of times show a person's true mettle.

"If that's how they are during bad times," she says, "that's who they truly are. You're either committed or you're not. There's no faking it." Read: A Hurricane Taught Me To Love His Family

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