Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Morning After

We awoke this morning and from our condo windows saw the welcome blue sky above the city. (As usual, left click any picture to enlarge it.)

Yesterday afternoon the river crested.
43 of 44 city water wells are out of service, and that one well simply can't quite keep up with the demand, so we are redoubling our conservation efforts. No one is showering, and we are drinking bottled water. Accurate river flow/height measurements have been hard to come by, because they all first went off the chart, and then went out of service as water overflowed the tops of the stations. This picture was taken from the I-380 bridge (from a moving car). This Bridge is the only open crossing of the Cedar River for many miles in either direction. Even I-380 is closed between here and Iowa City, necessitating that 267 mile detour noted in my last post.

Above, in the foreground of this picture from our condo is the river (not supposed to be there), the elevated I-380 freeway, St Luke's hospital just above the freeway, and in the background the red brick of Mercy Medical Center which has been evacuated. It is amazing that with a thousand blocks flooded, the only flood-related injury at this point is one sprained ankle.

This is the shortcut I usually take to work. A Coe College building is in the background.

This is the supply rail yard for Quaker Oats. It will take a long time to clean up and restart this industry stalwart of the community.

Across the river from our condo is a small city harbor on the river, with a collection of floating vacation houses. The ones that have not been taken downriver and are now wedged against the Quaker Oats rail bridge are seen here in a jumble.

This is the only damage we personally have so far. Part of the shrub border at the edge of our bluff have slid a few feet downward after days rain on the already saturated soil.

Barbara and I are doing OK and are safe, and we want to thank so many for the calls and emails expressing concern for us. There will be difficulties here for many, since business large and small (including mine) will feel the economic hit from this disaster, and some small family owned business will not come back. This, however, is life. Millions have a best day that is not as good as our bad days. Giving up a morning shower for a few days is not really much of a sacrifice when you think about it.