Diane’s letter to Ron Corbett

Ron,
I don’t know that I will be there I will try, Also can You tell me what time? I did call Scott Olsen’s office and I called the man in charge @ Cargill and no one can tell me why I was not informed of the demolition of my home. They were going to check into this and they still have not called me back. They said that there is nothing that they can do now, Also asked why it mattered {in their own words}. I told them from day one that is something that I wanted to be informed on. This one says that this company should have told me and then the next one tells me that someone else was to inform me. Again they ask why was it so important and what did I expect to have from this, I told them that I was hoping that it would have helped with a closer like you would a loved one. No my home was not anything special to them or to anyone except my family. I also said that there might have been one thing that I might have seen that maybe I could have saved. I feel that these two very rich companies really did me wrong. I sold my house at that time to them to get a closer I needed that so I was given a price and it sounded like this or nothing so I felt backed into a corner and agreed but kept asking I will be informed when it was to be torn down I wanted to know. They all agreed. I thought in all courts that a verbal agreement is the same as any agreement. So now my house is gone and I did not get the opportunity to see if it would have helped me with my conditions. Both of these two made me feel like I was taken advantage of. They promised me and my lawyer had also told them that I needed to be there. It didn’t do any good did it. Now they  tell me there is nothing that they can do and they made me feel like I am making a big deal out of nothing. Well to me this is not nothing. It could have helped my conditions that I have had since the flood. Would it have helped I don’t know and will never know because it is a what if….now. I know that I would have never lived in that house again, But I was not let in or was not allowed into my house to see if there was anything that I could have saved. The city said from day one do not enter…and yet now I look it up on the Internet and it says that my house was red and now it is yellow. Okay lets get real it isn’t even there. I also think that if a property is bought for commercial use then it should be bought at that price. How can so many people put a price on things, If it were their house would they settle for almost nothing. I know I feel that I was taken advantage of and I know many others were or will be. Yes I have a very nice house in a new neighborhood away from water, and I have a house payment that is very large to me because my other home was paid for except for the fix up loan that I had to pay off, I have not been able to work since October of 2008. I still haven’t received my disability, no money and my other half’s hours have been cut. Every corner we turn is another thing after another. I have never been rich and I would not want to be. But everything that I lost there that day Friday,June 13, 2008 {my birthday} included I worked and paid for & I watched it go. I have lost 23 years of my life its gone all of it. I lost the Person I was Before The FLOOD I have not been found ever since. I know it was material things that is what we are told and we know that some of it was, but you know that if the city in 2008 took it away then they should replace it. But tell me how does the city or anyone replace the mental side of our lives, the pain and suffering the not knowing what to do, feeling lost, no control, the phobia’s that people now have, finances, stress, depression, on and on. How do I remember things like my children’s baby books, pictures, family video’s of people who are no longer with us, something passed down to you from someone who is not longer here they gave it to you and you were responsible and you had no time to protect it now its gone. Or my favorite blanket that Grandma made. So many things that everyone one of us lost that day is only memory’s. But I lost “ME” and its sad because, now I have to stay in my comfort zone, I now suffer from depression, agoraphobia and post traumatic stress disorder, I have very bad panic attacks where I have hid in a corner Isolated, Eating a pill, to leave my house on most days I have to talk myself into going, I stay up most of the night telling myself that it will be ok, I take my morning breakfast which is 5 pills, then I take a pill to leave and most of the time one to get back home on. I have OCD real bad the hangers are all match up, labels of spices in alphabetical, my house has done before I leave everything has to be so so. I don’t leave on the 13th no matter what day of the week. I don’t like large amounts of water and some days I don’t like a puddle, I close my eyes when I go over the bridges or I have blinders on and I have to hold my breath, in my mind I say almost there almost there. I can not stay focused on one thing let alone one job, that is a joke. When I go somewhere it is really hard and I do not want to leave my new house because I feel that if I am there I can and will protect it in case something goes wrong, if it is bad weather I either stay awake all night until someone else gets up I am watching from window to window. Like when we had all the rain and I was freaking out I had noticed in my new house water was coming in my house. I ran out opened the garage and got the wheel barrel and some buckets and a broom, I use the wheel barrel to bucket all the water out of the grandchildren baby pool into the wheel barrel and send it down the drive, I pushed water from my house I built a bridge so it couldn’t get into the back door, then I got the sump pump out and pump that water down the drive. I did this all day until someone else came home then they help calm me I told them that it didn’t get in I saved it, where is the snow going to go when it melts? I worry about all of these things all the what if’s in the day. How much do you receive for the mental anguish that I am suffering from, and the neighbor is suffering from, the not knowing, the mental anguish that I suffer even more now since I learned about the tearing down of my home without letting me know. They took a lot away from me that day when they took down my home I hope that I will get over everything, and wake up and find out that it is just a long nightmare and all of our lives are they way they use to be. Its hard for me to believe that any person or persons would think that are a “GOD” and they could part the Red Sea in our case the Cedar River. Just over wanting the land for River Front Property Projects, If they needed our land so bad then why not say we will move your house for you or we will get another for you. Pay us a fair market value really how do they know what that is, most of our homes might not be worth anything but they were either passed down, or bought or still buying, I would like to see it where they really have to help us, Where can someone go and get a house for I seen some that said maybe seventeen thousand or 40 thousand, when their house is paid for owe nothing, except utilities, and then someone comes in and says to you I will give you fair market value, this person has never been inside your home, it could be all updated and look like a rich house on the hill. The outside of the house is maintained and a garage. We will give you fair market, I hate that phrase but what is fair. Give us our house fixed or pay more because when most of us got our houses, they didn’t go as high compared to now. A average house right now on the market is about 1 hundred thousand, what is fair market there for our land our claim in the town of Cedar Rapids what would it cost me to build the same thing some where else to me should be fair market! Ok now the city, state, governor, whom ever need to give me fair market value for our minds. We the flood family’s are waiting for the verdict and when you make your decisions maybe to figure out fair put yourself in our shoes and imagine what you think is fair for you, and your should add another 110% to it and maybe that would almost cover everything that is really fair. We pay city taxes money goes where? We pay state taxes money goes where? There are taxes that we pay into all of time and really when we need some help something fair what happens to us. I force myself out of my house at least 2 or 3 times a week {yes I mean force} I am so scared that if I am driving my hands are almost sleeping from squeezing the wheel so hard, the stiffness starts to build, then the shaking starts and the sweats start, the racing of my heart, the did I do this before I left did I shut off the coffee pot did I, or the what ifs, the unanswered question,emotions like it feels as if I am in a flood or something could happen every time I go around the block let alone when I need to drive to Tipton to see a friend of mine whom is more like a sister except there is only 3 months different in our birthdays she is dying of brain cancer large tumors,cancer in lung,in her whole body and I can’t even go there without wanting to turn around so I have to tell her the day before that I will come to see here and see if I can ride with someone or them ride with me just to spend the last of the days with her, told her that she would not die alone with out me but I can’t leave my house and stay gone for any length of time, It is the easiest reason to go out of my house and this is really hard, so I can’t get a job because of this fear, they won’t give me Disability I applied for last July, 90 to 180 days most people know; I am still waiting for a positive thing to happen and that fight to be over just give me a straight answer, yes it looks in your favor, no not a chance but lets string you along and not tell  you anything, I am sorry but I have a hard time on this also. You pay into it all your life of working, and you have more then one person that you have to see just to try to find me again says that I am still unstable why should I have to beg for my disability, I applied for my mental state not for a back injury in 1999. First I had to go to their doctor to examine me for 1 hour. and send in his decision, and doesn’t share it with you, But they say we haven’t made a decision yet so then I wait again, I applied in July and They set up for me to go see this man in December, it has now been 5 months and I kept calling in all 5 months hearing we don’t know then the decide to set me up with a back Dr to look me over and to make a decision and now I have to have a back x-ray the 20 th of this month then what. We pay into this we can’t have this when our own doctors say we can not work at this time. Now I am falling behind on house payments and I have received help every where I can because I have not received a answer on disability and my phobia’s that I have I might make the next full payment. Because of all of this I would not have this worry if I didn’t loose my home, I would not have felt like I lost my mind I know that I lost the best part of me, my mind, and I know I would not have lost my job because I could not go because of my phobia’s also because they didn’t like the fact that I was missing work because of my phobia’s, so to sum it up in my not to good mind bottom line.
1.For me it was June 13, 2008= flood
2. Told by several officers that we would be safe on the hill behind our house, our neighborhood was very close just like most of them are, we stayed behind our house and one of my neighbor’s we take and load our campers with important papers and cloths ect in or cars, trucks whatever we could and some other neighbors stayed at the other end, to keep our neighbors houses safe until the got to back. We watched the water all around us and it wasn’t in our neighborhood and Cargill was pumping so they would not get flooded we felt safe so we all turned in until about 1:00 am June 13, 2008 and we were surrounded by water.
3. Train Bridge Broke = our neighborhood under water.
4. Cargil could not pump fast enough shut down pumps.
5. Rescued by metal boat. House 1/2 under water, neighbors porch light still on under water: fear of water, metal, life jacket. I said wait a minute what good is this life jacket in a metal boat in the water with electricity on. I was taught that those things did not go good together. I was told its ok because we got here to get you right, yes but the water has gotten a lot higher and the break in the lines might not have been affected yet, I of course thought the worse all the way up the hill. By this time the water had was amazed  at things that were floating down the what was a road in front of me, I looked at all of our stuff our home, cars, trucks, ect all gone.The most important we have each other and our dogs, I kind of know how a homeless person feels now no matter what I am standing on a corner with my dogs, my man, with a suitcase in our hand and that is it, Everything’s gone all in one night. All on my birthday just for me I am lucky what a present for the whole town.
6. where do I go with 3 dogs until the water goes away some of my family moved 3 times to dry land during that week. Now what do I do I at this time could not see only the roof of my house. I seen cars floating in front of me, a freezer with some birds on it floating down the river, I seen a racoon hanging on to a fence for dear lift, where do you go what do you do. I looked down that street every day, hoping it would be ok, I fell to the ground and cried and cried.
7. Stayed at my moms, with my mother, myself, my other half, my nephew his wife and 4 children 4 dogs, and one parrot.
8. Knowing that I can never go back to my home, no car no truck to get around, go to all of these appointments. Feeling homeless standing in line just to get a warm shower a roof that don’t leak, We are told to go here go there for this.
9. House tagged red do not enter do not occupied, not safe, ok now I lost everything it occurred to me, everything except each other and our pets and a suitcase of clothes that is it, How can they tell me not to go into something is mine. I own it, walking around my yard looking for anything, just some thing that might be mine to keep, cried again and again left several times came back and helped some more. I looked into my what was a bedroom and guess what same thing sat down and cried.
10. In one moment I was happy with what we had and we built our own mansion and in that moment it was gone. Find new house move in go to the storage garage from things in the yard and garage. Go to free places and start to furnish my new house. Go to the store and get new stuff just to try to replace some of the stuff that was in my old home. I had people say “I bet you feel like a kid in a candy store” I would say not I would prefer not to have to do this but my home wasn’t that house on the hill. Most of them didn’t even loose anything except maybe a little water in the neighbors basement.
11. Lost mind, = lost job
12. apply for disability wait over a year and still don’t know anything. Put a lot more stress on me, more depressed. Does anyone on that hill up there really know what this has done to this town. Just for a little bit of property. A claim that was bought and farmstead for their fair market value. Where did our rights go where did it say you could steal my home and land from me for fair market. When you go to the store they say how much the store has to have out of it for you to take home fine. You go to a car lot and I tell you what I want out of my truck you either say yes or no or maybe another amount. But is it really fair. We come to a mutual agreement,
13.You put your house for sale you tell the price you want out of it they might say a couple thousand different but at least you thought that it was fair. I don’t mean we should get rich on any of this cause you know what I woke up and I decided that someone at the very beginning of this journey told me your not going to get rich from these programs they are just here to help you rebuild.  I don’t want to be rich but I do want to have enough to pay for a new life. What is a life worth. What is a brain worth. What’s the fair market value of these things most of us just want to be treated fairly give us at least this. Why should we have to pay anything back do they pay us back when we give money to other countries.
14. I am also so confused ok when some of us received fema money, we were not told any thing about a repayment.
Then we get jumpstart and they take the amount right off the top that we received from fema. Now the city is going to buy these houses and we have to pay back again how is this fair, if you got the down payment money you have a lien on your new house for five years until its paid back. Didn’t we as tax payers pay into any of these funds isn’t there a special government or city fund that they use to keep people from having to live on the streets or go into debt so far either fixing or moving expenses. When the road we drive on that is either city, state, or federal streets, our taxes go for that. We have school tax to keep the schools up. But we have no funds to help AMERICAINS what is up with that. You know we could use help too. I feel sorry for anyone who has to go to bed hungry or in a cardboard box, or in things like a natural disaster because we don’t get a second chance, Or a helping hand, I know I have a lot of people that fought for our rights but where did they go where are all the rights they fought for. What happened to take care of your own back yard first. Well the US is a big back yard and we all need to pay. We let people come from all over the world to live here but why if something happens there where they come from we the US have a fund to help them, I know if I go to their country I would have to pay taxes, and shelter, food, what ever it is they need but we let them come here to have a safer life and we give it all to them for how many years, Where is our fund here?
15.Okay lets look at it like this if I decide that I don’t want my house and I burn it to the ground, I go to jail as a arsonist if the city fills the streets and houses, buildings cars, ect. what punishment do they get? If I destroy something that belongs to the city I go to jail, what happens to them for my house destroyed? I am so sorry but you will be taxed, and you will have liens, and you will have to pay it back. But yet it wasn’t my fault and I have to still be punished for my old life and what I owned, and for my new life that they decided that I have to live. Why do I and many others feel like the city state government need to help us rebuild, help us find fair housing at the price that it would take me to replace my old house if I wanted to spend more let that be up to me. Why should I have to pay for something that was taken away from me without even making it fair. I would be punished if I filled your house up with all of that stuff that was in the water that day and made you set and look at it for a week or two I would be punished why not who ever committed the crimes above. What is their punishment? They made the decision of what to do to with the dike.
Sorry Ron I kind of got on a roll. If I am not there maybe you can share it for me or have Ajai do it for me. I will really try to get there because I think that this all should also be said.

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About Ajai Dittmar

There is nothing 'radical' about wanting to save your historical neighborhood! There is nothing 'negative' for wanting an 'outside investigation' done a public service that has had a lot of embarrassing news, especially when they don't do their jobs! There is nothing 'odd' about wanting politicians to uphold the Constitution they swear to uphold when they are sworn into office! Follow @sibzianna View all posts by Ajai Dittmar

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