Saturday, June 14, 2008

Iowa City Flooding

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.

8 comments:

Chris said...

Thank you for this update - I've been wondering about you and the kitties, and am so glad you are safe!

I'm writing this from the midst of yet another severe thunderstorm here. What a year...

Amysatx said...

Glad you were able to post! Hope you're able to get back soon!

Steven said...

Thank goodness you and the kitties are safe. Keep us posted -- and stay dry.

Cathy said...

So relieved you and cats are all right, and that you're now on higher ground! The story about the Amish helpers is indeed touching. Thinking of you...

Enid said...

I'm glad you are safe Janna.

Courtney said...

Glad to hear you're okay. I hope you and your home stay relatively dry.

Melissa said...

Those photos of people helping at the main library were great. I hope that just as many people help out when the stuff has to be moved back to the basement... Glad you made it to your mom's safely! :)

NeedleDancer said...

ooh ooh... you're here?
I'll be in Springfield on Thursday -- playing at the appellate court. DH will be there too, but we might could say hello after?
Or....
you could maybe come into CU Friday or Saturday? (I'm having a party Saturday night... you could stay over....)
This is way better than you merely being okay.... (which is good...very good)