FOX47 NEWS - Salvaging Memories
When flood waters in Rock Springs receded, Fire Dept. Secretary Deanna Ploof became an amateur detective.
Some of this stuff has traveled for quite a few miles, she said. But one by one, we're tracking each individual one down.
Hundreds of personal possessions...photographs, newspaper clippings, childrens' artwork, even hand written letters from happier times...all salvaged from the water, with the hope that people will come back to claim them.
Everybody has precious items in their homes, and if you can return just one of them and see a smile or the emotion or the tears of the people when they receive it back, said Ploof.
Some, like Sara Pahl and her husband, are recovering what they can.
She said, My baby blanket and my son's baby blanket were in a cedar chest which did get full of water. We have washed them up and we're going to keep them regardless.
Others were not so lucky.
Joe Ashworth said, We lost just about everything in the house, a full workshop downstairs, everything in the garage, clothing, photos, and old things we've had all our lives.
Flood waters destroyed most items, and covered Rocks Springs in a layer of sewage, forcing people to wear protective clothes.
Ironically enough, people in Rock Springs are hoping for a little bit of rainfall to flush out the ground, because it's just too contaminated to step on.
Even when the town is clean enough for man and beast, residents are weary some people won't come back at all.
There are still people who aren't in their homes, said Pahl. They're still trying to dry out and put things back up. So, there are going to be people who are misplaced for months, if not even longer.
Ashworth said, The disappointment of the loss, and the disappointment of people you've seen around you as neighbors that that will probably never come back. A lot of people are leaving but we're staying.