In the months before my freshman year at the University of Iowa, the Iowa River flooded its banks, closing one dorm for the entire first semester and leaving me with 2 roommates in a double dorm — some doubles were turned into quads, in fact. Fifteen years later, and the flooding is worse — just look at the extensive and graphic slideshows at the Iowa City Press-Citizen website and this timeline of two freakish weeks of rain.
It was clear by midweek (last week) that the flooding would surpass the epic proportions of 1993 — in Cedar Rapids the river crested 5 feet higher than it did in ’93. But — in a typically pathetic show of domestic carelessness by the Bush Administration, it wasn’t until Friday that FEMA declared disaster areas in Cedar and Johnson county (Iowa’s governor declared 83 of Iowa’s 99 counties disaster areas by the end of the week). And today — Sunday — with supplies of drinkable water subsiding and key arteries closed in Iowa City/Coralville, FEMA does not even have an office established in the county. Not even a trailer. And the Iowa River may not crest until Monday night / Tuesday.
Now, summer school has been suspended, and at least 15 University of Iowa buildings have started to flood. Pictured above is the Taco Bell in Coralville that was the site of many cheap feeds and multiple refills of Pepsi back in my undergrad days.
I hope the university and the residents throughout the state get the help and relief they need — it doesn’t look pretty. More good (student) coverage at the Daily Iowan (w/ video too). Live video stream available via KCRG-Cedar Rapids. Viewer-contributed footage via KCRG / YouNews is here and below.