Submitted by Devin Bodily, PT, Cedar Health & Rehabilitation, Cedar City, Utah
During the month of August, Cedar City received a large amount of rain within a very short span of time, including over 6 inches during a 24-hour period in the mountains above town. A frightening amount of muddy water, logs and boulders came crashing down Coal Creek, out of the canyon, and right through town. This eventually clogged a main floodwater-diverting channel, which caused the water to rush into, and overflow, the canal in the western part of town. Many homes were flooded and surrounded by several inches of water and mud without warning.
Our Director of Nursing, Trent Nielsen, has a home in this area and had been keeping tabs on how the flooding was going throughout the morning. To complicate matters, Cedar Health and Rehabilitation was undergoing state survey, which made it difficult for Trent to adequately prepare for any flooding at his home.
Just before noon, Trent was made aware that the water had crossed the road and was quickly traveling across the field toward his house. Without knowing how much time there was to spare, Devin Bodily, PT; Jake Holm, OT; and Braden Wiscombe, AIT, quickly rearranged their schedules and left to help Trent and his family. They were able to quickly obtain sandbags and shovels to create a wall to divert the floodwaters from reaching Trent’s home. If they had arrived minutes later, Trent’s home would have been flooded and permanently damaged.
They stayed for several hours into the evening to help maintain the wall. Community members eventually came along with skid steer loaders and mini excavators to build a dam and divert the water around the neighborhood. Ty Liston, COTA, and Eric Brown, Director of Maintenance, joined later in the evening and late into the night to help with the efforts of having an adequate water pumping system in his backyard. Having these pumps in place was instrumental to saving his home as heavy rains returned that night and broke the dam, pushing floodwaters within inches of Trent’s home before they finally subsided.
The effort to save Trent’s home was bolstered by the many facility staff members, regional nursing resources, and Executive Director, Spencer Eaton, who helped fill in for Trent’s duties during the state survey process so he could focus on saving his home through the night and into the next day.
The response to help Trent and his family was automatic as several employees demonstrated the core values of “Love One Another” and “Customer Second.”