Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Thoughts Go Out To the Folks In Iowa City

Iowa City is under water and the interstates are closed. And ya know what? There's no national guards helping with the sand bags like they did in '93. I wonder where they are...

Here's a pic of Cedar Rapids, a city about half the size of Grand Rapids, just 20 miles North of Iowa City.

I was talking with my friend Steve in Iowa City a moment ago and I heard the radio in the background talking about evacuating Coralville, Iowa, just 2 miles North of Iowa City because the levee holding in the river just broke and water is rushing into the city.

The last time this happened, in 1993, they called it a 500 year flood. An event that happens every 500 years or so. 15 years later, another 500 year flood.

Probably the scariest thing about this event is the road closures. The folks there are just stuck. Tomorrow I'll be making quite a few phone calls to see how my Iowa City friends are doing. It's predicted the water river crest at 33 feet above its original level...UNLESS it rains. And it's been raining like crazy for days. Still raining right now. Just to give you some perspective, the average depth of Lake Erie is 62 feet. Fortunately, most of Iowa City is built well outside the river valley. But let's not forget that a fantastic amount of our food comes from this region, and tens of thousands of acres of farmland will be in water deeper than most inland lakes. Most likely this will drive up our food prices a bit more. A little company called Quaker Oats makes most of their cereal in Cedar Rapids.

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