Scientific research is a methodical, incremental, team-driven process. So too, Karl Boehme, Ph.D., learned, is coping with a catastrophic flood. With the water rising fast in their Bellevue subdivision that rain-soaked Sunday, Boehme and his wife, Kathy, loaded up their children, Charlotte, 5, and Nathan, 3, and evacuated at 6 a.m. As they left, they knocked on neighbors’ doors to wake them up and urged them to head for higher ground.
Barely making it out of the neighborhood before the roads became impassable, the family headed for safety, specifically the conference room in Medical Center North for the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, where Boehme is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Terence Dermody, M.D.
They spent the rest of the day there before going to stay with a friend. It was Tuesday morning before they could make it back to their house to assess the damage, which was extensive, as water had risen to three feet inside the home.
At that point the plan, and the team, kicked into high gear.
Most of his colleagues from the lab came to help. Ten people worked in shifts to haul out furniture, cut drywall, tear out insulation and rip out flooring, and by the end of the day Wednesday, May 5, the house was clear and the drying-out process was under way. He gets dry with a little help from his friends.
“Our friends have been fantastic, and the support from the community and everyone else has been phenomenal,” Boehme said. “This is not a one-man job. It takes a team, and it’s inspiring to see people come together like they have.”
Dealing with the enormity of the situation is difficult, to say the least. The key, Boehme said, is to take care of one thing at a time.
“All you can do is plunge into the work. Focus on a task, get it done and move on to the next task. If you try to think of the big picture, it’s easy to get lost.”
Boehme and his family are living in a temporary apartment until their house is rebuilt, which he hopes will be finished within a few months.

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“This is not a one-man job. It takes a team, and it’s inspiring
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Karl Boehme