This is in response to many of your questions. We have been experiencing a bad flood here in Ames. Luckily, our basement did not get flooded. But the water was awfully close to our house. Although our basement did not get flooded, our neighbor's (in the other unit in our duplex) basement did. I don't know how to explain that...except that we were blessed. We have been doing well despite having to boil our water. We are so grateful that we had a little bit of water storage so that we have been able to drink good water and not heat our house up too much. They also recently started handing out water to the citizens of Ames, so we have been ok. Things should be under control by next week. Although we will probably have a lot of standing water and extra mosquitoes for a while. :)
Here are some pics of before and after the flood.