This is just a short post to let you know I'm okay and am at my mom's in central Illinois. I will say that I am totally freaked out by the flooding and although I'm fairly certain my townhouse will be safe, I decided that the kitties and I would be better off somewhere else. My usual route to Mom's involves I-80, which is a mess, so I drove south and crossed the Mississippi at Quincy, IL, where the river is very, very high but, as of this morning, both bridges were still open.
Yesterday afternoon, the University of Iowa shut down because of the flooding. All but essential services will be closed until Monday, June 23. The UI Hospital and Clinics are still open, although routine appointment have of course been cancelled/rescheduled.
My library, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, is fine, although closed. We are on high ground on the west side of the river. The Main Library, though, is just to the east of the river, maybe a block away from it. There was a massive effort yesterday to get as much as possible out of the basement and up to higher floors. There are picture here of that. The building was also sandbagged. There are pictures here of that effort. Notice the Amish men in the sandbagging pictures. Although there is a very large Amish community in the vicinity, they don't often mix with non-Amish. Seeing them come into town to help with sandbagging really touched me.
The sandbagging efforts all over Iowa City and Coralville was awe-inspiring. The effort of volunteers - many of them students - was amazing.
The Iowa River will probably crest early Tuesday morning. If you've seen pictures of the devastation in nearby Cedar Rapids, were the Cedar River crested on Friday, you can understand why these measures were taken. Unlike Cedar Rapids, downtown Iowa City is on high ground, overlooking the river, and should be mostly okay. Coralville's business district (the "Strip") is a different matter. And it's estimated that 19 buildings on the UI campus are in danger of flooding. This includes not just the Main Library, but the Museum of Art. (I've heard that all of the good stuff, like the Pollack were removed early in the week, when we first became aware of the potential for flooding.) The local paper has lots of pictures and has been good at doing updates.