Months after the Memorial Day floods in Wimberley survivors are still working to get everything back to normal, both physically and emotionally. One group is hoping to help people by telling their stories.
For the last few weeks, those who lived through the floods have been sharing stories for a Wimberley flood book project. They hope by revisiting that terrible night they may be able to find some closure.
It’s been months since the floods and it’s been a nightmare for many in Wimberley. Many lost homes and some lost loved ones. But rebuilding efforts can be seen around town.
Therapist Nancy Williams says, “It's been a couple of months and some people would say it's been a long time but for people that have experienced what we've been through in our community, it’s still fresh and the emotions are tender and raw.”
Williams has spent a lot of time helping victims move on.
“You don't forget when you've been in a crisis. You just learn how to move through it, you learn how to move on with your life and you learn to remember it in a way that's a part of who you are and it allows you to establish a new normal for your life,” Williams says.
That’s when an idea came to write a book about the survivors. It will collect all the unbelievable things that happened to them.
Wimberley Village Library librarian Carroll Wilson says, “The idea here is to come together as a community to help everyone understand what happened and the impact of what happened and honor those stories. The stories of people who lost so much.”
Volunteers are asking people to either write out their stories. Or they can sit down for an interview that will be transcribed. The project is focusing on the first 48 hours. It’s not just looking at those who lost their homes. They are interviewing first responders and people who helped with rescue efforts.
Wilson says, “The stories that you hear as you listen to them speak and read from them are about courage in the face of fear. It’s about ingenuity and perseverance and strength and neighbors helping neighbors and despair and faith.”
Wimberley Mayor Steve Thurber has supported the project from the start. He says people are still in shock but he believes the project will help them move on.
“They want people to know their story, not because they feel sorry for themselves, but I think they want to heal, to grasp what has happened to them and what has happened to the community,” Mayor Thurber says.
Nancy Williams hopes that people in Texas and across the world will read the book and take away some valuable lessons of how a community can come together after tragedy.
“I want my children and my grandchildren who don't live here to read what we experienced and the fabric of the town that I live in and how people rally,” Williams says.
Volunteers will gather stories all month. They hope to have a book out for Christmas.
If you’d like to contact them about telling your story you can head to the Wimberley Village Library website here or email May232015@wimberleylibrary.org.