While not as bad as the ones in 1974, the flooding that occurred very close to my house was still very bad. We have a number of friends who have had their homes either completely or at least partially inundated. The mess that the waters have made is difficult to comprehend if you haven't stood in the middle of street while all around you is being hosed down, cleaned out or just simply demolished. The smell is particularly distinctive and the colour makes it look like someone has taken a huge syringe and sucked all life from the earth.
The disruption to "normal" life is also difficult to imagine. Simple things like power going off, loss of internet access etc all seem quite trivial, but for those who are already dealing with the devastation just getting power back on is a huge milestone (and many are still in the dark). (Canon 450D, 18-55mm efs zoom)