Richard Jaeger and Theressa Northouse – Dealing With the Flood Aftermath

Richard Jaeger of East Dubuque, IL

Richard Jaeger, from East Dubuque, IL, got hit hard by the recent flood. His car and many of his possessions that were in his house are now destroyed. He came in with his daughter, Theressa Northouse from Epworth, IA who has been helping him get things back to where they were. They have been hard at work trying to restore what was damaged but it’s a long and slow process. They drove up to Runde’s on the hill the other day to get a new vehicle for Richard to get around in and to try to get things moving towards the way they were before the awful flooding.

Hello Richard and Theressa.  Thank you for taking some time out for this interview. So what made you come into Runde’s today?
Richard: She did.
Theressa: I did, yep. Well, during the East Dubuque flooding down on the flats he lost his vehicle. He needed a new vehicle, we’re from East Dubuque and we know some of the Runde’s so I told him “let’s go up the hill” and here we are.

Richard's Daughter - Theressa Northouse, has been helping Richard with flood damage.

The flooding of downtown was an absolute disaster… How did your car get totalled out?
Richard: I was driving an ’05 Kia. I was coming down the highway then I saw all the water and thought “I better get out of here”.  I know the road and I know that if I got in the ditch I was done. The car started to act funny as the water hit it so I put it in reverse and went to back up. While in reverse the car stalled and I was sitting there trying to get it started just to have it stall again and again.

I looked out my window and noticed that it seemed like the train was moving very slowly. But on the other side of me I noticed that the hill seemed like it was moving too!  But it was actually the water slowly moving my car backwards. Thankfully I didn’t end up in the ditch or anything but the firemen had to come and get me out of there. I had water up to my knees as the firemen escorted me out.

Wow, well I’m glad to see you are ok. Is everything at home alright?
No, I live in the flats in East Dubuque. I had eight feet of water in my basement. The Washer, Dryer, Hot-Water Heater, Furnace – all gone. We had a hard time trying to clean it up. Opening the door to go down to the basement, you could take one step down the stairway then that’s it, you’ll be swimming the rest of the way.

The East Dubuque Flood left the city with a big mess to clean.

That’s dangerous too, because of all of those shorted- out electronics, people can get electrocuted from that…
Yea, I didn’t let anyone go down there. We got the water out by putting the sump pump on one step, waited for the water to go down to the next step then put it on that step and so forth until we could reach the ground.

How’s the restoration going?
It was impossible to find help and there is still a lot to do.

Did you have any damage to your house Theressa?
No, I live out in Epworth and fortunately I didn’t get any damage. Some of my neighbors had water in their basements but we stayed dry.

So what made you want to get the Aztek?
Richard: She did.
Theressa:It’s all about the “fit” of the vehicle for him. We were looking for a vehicle he could get in and out of easily. So we found the Aztek online and saw all the specs and thought it might be a good fit. Then came in and tested it out and it worked pretty well for what we needed.

The All-Wheel-Drive will definitely be handy in the winter.
Yes, I feel more comfortable with him driving this.

How many kids do you have?
Richard: Eight. Raised them all in East Dubuque. They are scattered all over the United States. But Theressa is the closest to me so she helps me out.

So you have quite a few brothers and sisters, huh Theressa?
Yep, seven of them. I’m actually the second youngest of the group.

How did you like your sales-person, Al Kloft? What would you rank him from 1-10?
(Richard murmurs as Al Walks near our interview table, then yells out) HMM. I THINK ABOUT A ZERO!
**Everyone Laughs except for Al who glares at Red with his badger-like eyes**
No I’d give everything a 10.  (And that turns Al’s frown upside down.)

What do you guys like to do around the area?
I used to regularly drive the school bus for the East Dubuque area. But I’m not doing it at the moment; I’m taking a little break.

Theressa: I’m a 4th grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary in Dubuque, IA.

Do you guys get together as a family often?
Theressa: During reunions and holidays, the usual stuff I guess, it’s hard when we’re all scattered apart like we are.

Would you recommend Runde’s to friends and family?
Yes. We were very happy with our experience.

Why do they call you “Red”?
Cause I’ve been Red all my life! I used to have red hair before it turned grey. Most people don’t even know my real name.

If you were to win the lottery, what would you do with the money?
I’d throw a party. And pay off a lot of stuff.

Thressa: I’d buy the prettiest car I could find, then pay off houses of all my loved ones and friends.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Despite all that happened at least now we can say we have a reliable car. It’s a good step in the right direction.

Well it was a pleasure meeting you both, I wish you well trying to get everything back together from the flooding. Thank you for choosing Runde’s!

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