Sunday, June 15, 2008

Area Flooding

Well, Des Moines didn't get off completely lucky. But, with a single levee break, it's MUCH better than it had been in 93. The levee that broke, they were worried about and had attempted a last-minute reinforcement for it... but it didn't work. There's only a couple of neighborhoods flooded, the water is fine and the flood waters are receding.

Cedar Rapids on the other hand, is about 100 times worse the wear for this flood than the 93 flood. Almost 25,000 people displaced (1/5th the population). Over 400 city blocks flooded. They've never seen anything like it. Seeing photos of the 5-in-1 380 bridge where the water is just below 380 is beyond comprehension - that bridge is like so high up in the air! I just can't even believe my eyes. Iowa City is now under siege, and hopefully, will have had enough warning that they can put up enough sandbags to try to keep the damage down -though honestly? Sandbags only work so far... and if they have the water Cedar Rapids is pushing down the Cedar River to them? They're in trouble.

My sister finally reached a couple of our brothers yesterday by phone. Everyone is fine except our step-father. He got hurt a couple of days ago, but seems to be ok now. Took another blow to the chest when he rolled with the riding lawn mower (more like a small tractor). I'm struggling because there is very little to no news about the smaller towns. Apparently the entire county is a no-go zone, they're asking everyone to stay off the roads and not drive to work. Don't know if it's because of flash flooding or what, but that's not a good sign. The small town I went to school in (population 300) is I've heard 75% under water. I can't even imagine. That never happened in 93 either. So, hopefully, once the water starts to recede, the news will start covering some of those other smaller towns to help fill in the void of information.

It's kind of funny, though. You know? Back in 93, there wasn't a lot of information available about the other affected areas in the flood. I knew downtown Des Moines had been hit, but beyond that? Not much information. And, in 93? I was ok with that. However, now? the internet has gotten us so used to being able to search for the information we want, we get to choose if we want to read articles, view slide shows of photos, or videos... And, as far as I can see? There aren't any news on Jones County, Olin, Hale, Oxford Junction, or any of the area towns. I found one article about the flooding in Anamosa - mostly about the fact that they were moving the inmates (which is fascinating, as the prison is high up on a hill). But, the void of information is a serious issue to me. I keep thinking that I just need to perform a slightly different search. The expectation is that the information is out there somewhere and I just need to work harder to find it, when in fact, the information is probably not out there. The journalists in the area are probably still taking film photos and not blogging. There's just NO news. It's driving me nuts. Even my sister is struggling with this new expectation that news should be available. She called the television stations in the area (I don't think she's ever done that before). She asked them to take their helicopters out to document the small towns also impacted by the flooding. Funny! but sad!

Back in 93, I wouldn't have had the expectations I have now - isn't that odd? It's funny how the internet changes us and we don't even notice.

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