June 15, 2008

"Water rose up way too close to us earlier."

"It went back down later but now the skies have just opened up again and it’s raining hard, hailing on us and a tornado warning. We are just not catching any breaks here in Cedar Rapids at all today."

Dave Howell has words and video on the flooding in Iowa — extremely well presented on his blog (which was linked at BBC.com).


Trevor Jackson said...

Really, really tragic what's happened to Cedar Rapids, but it's not the only story in Iowa. Waterloo and Cedar Falls are still under quite a bit of water. South of Cedar Rapids, Coralville's two main streets are under, as are the businesses that line those streets.

After a week of massive yet fruitless sandbagging efforts along the Iowa River, a dozen university buildings in Iowa City have already flooded and the river has yet to crest. That's coming Monday night. The last open bridge connecting the two halves of the city will likely close today.

The water in Cedar Rapids and Coralville/Iowa City will not fully recede till the end of June. At least here in Iowa City, we still have power and water. Cedar Rapids is down to its last well with only a couple days left. Conservation won't see them through.

It's going to get worse before it gets better.

Der Hahn said...

A quick update from information I got by watching the Cedar Rapids/Linn County press conference this morning (10am CT Sunday June 15).

The water situation is improving. An additional pumping station/well field is in operation. We're being asked to continue to conserve but the situation isn't as dire as it was yesterday morning. The river is dropping almost as fast as it went up though it will be at least a week before we're below flood level(assuming no addtional rain). People are being allowed to visit areas that were evacuated. Our power seems pretty stable.

Iowa City/Coralville and other towns farther south on the Cedar and Iowa rivers will see rising water for several more days.

I've been watching radar feeds and it looks like Waterloo and Cedar Rapids might get a break from the latest round of storms, though they will impact areas to our south and east. If we can make it through today the forecast calls for several dry days ahead which will improve the situation.

In Cedar Rapids at least the flood, while widespread, has been limited to areas affected by rising river levels. Significant portions of town are not affected by the water. That's given us places to evacuate people and set up emergencies services.

reader_iam said...

It's heartbreaking to look at pictures and footage, especially when you're familiar with the towns. We sit and look at them and try to reconcile them with our mental maps. Just awful. The hardest-hit areas are experiencing floods that dwarf '93's, though other areas hard-hit then, such as here in Davenport, are more fortunate (flooding, yes, but not at historic levels, and looking at those pictures really puts it into perspective).

Rain, rain go away! I'll tell you, there's just nowhere for it to go.

Trevor, good luck.

rhhardin said...

Ohio had one of those bad weather not moving things a half year ago or so, that was due to the jet stream setting up some unmoving pattern.

It's not an unusual amount of water, just unusual in not moving somewhere else.

reader_iam said...

For anyone interested, this Iowa City blogger has posted some decent pix of the flooding there, including some one particular building (Iowa Memorial Union) over a number of days to track the water rising.

The Arts campus and the performing arts complex have really taken a hit. John Deeth (the blogger linked above) makes reference to this. Here's a Des Moines Register article which talks about that, as well as other affected buildings, and tells a story of hundreds of volunteers (mostly students) handing books and other items, one by one, hand to hand up three flights of stairs.

The University of Iowa has done some major building and upgrades over the past several years, much of it now damaged by the floods. Tough times for that university community.

reader_iam said...

The UI (University of Iowa) News Service has some great photo sets up on its Flickr account.


I really like the ones in this set that include a number of Amish who came into town from their community to help out (there's not a lot of mixing in general, as one would expect). Cool. Also, this is not isolated--there are similar instances in other parts of Iowa.