Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cleaning up the Red Sludge Október 11 2010

We spent a p-day down in Devecser helping to clean up the sludge from their horrible flood of toxic waste. N0 one is allowed up in Kolántar which is the closet city to the disaster. Devecser is the next city away. I think the anticipate demolishing Kolántar but I can't imagine that anyone would want to return to this city either.

We spent the first part of our day getting in hazard gear and standing around. There is no one really to arrange jobs for all of the volunteers. They needed a good Stake President with his emergency preparedness program. Finally they gave us a job but a lot of us just broke off from the group and went around asking families if there was anyway we could help. And we certainly found people to help!

This is the remains of one of the houses near the post office where we first went to work.
At the Post Office we tried to clear the area of the red sludge by shoving it, you can guess, into the stream. It is where all of it was headed. We also loaded all of the interior furnishing into large trash receptacles. These large bins were brought in by truck, but there simple weren't enough of them.
When we left the main group we found an elderly gentlemen who needed help getting the water out of his basement. It was a huge job as we brought the water out by bucket brigade. It was back breaking work. Some of our Elders got well soaked in the muck and I worried for them. We got them cleaned up as soon as possible. Sorry you have to go on your side to see this picture, but I can't get my blog to change or move pictures, so mistakes just have to stay where they are.
One of our big assignments was simply to help them spread gypsum everywhere to try and cut the caustic nature of the stuff. This too, was very tiring work. And you just stood alot waiting for the next load of gypsum. There is too much to do here and not enough of anything.

This picture just cannot do justice to the sludge. It is about 9 to 10 inches deep on everything.
My great friend Dio. That actually means nut in Hungarian and she really is one.
It was good to give help. Mormon Helping Hands has returned many times. You did notice our yellow vests. They didn't stay yellow for very long.

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