Saturday, June 14, 2008
This is looking west on "The Strip" in Coralville. Usually, this is 4 lanes of solid traffic during the day.
This is an apartment complex on 4th Avenue in Coralville. This is about 6 city blocks from the river bank.
This is of the Coralville Dam's spillway. Normally, it is dry. Now, combining the water coming over the spillway and through the floodgates, there are an estimated 50,000 cubic feet of water per second going down stream toward Coralville and Iowa City.
3rd Avenue in Downtown Cedar Rapids
This railroad bridge is Downtown Cedar Rapids near I380. The things hung up on the bridge are houseboats that are usually docked at the Ellis Docks several miles away.
The last photo is of downtown Cedar Rapids. Interstate 380 goes through the middle of the photo and Quaker Oats can be seen just below it.
This is the Vinton Fire Department. Vinton is about 30 miles Northwest of Cedar Rapids. It sits right on the Cedar River. They've had flooding there before, such as in 1993, but nothing like this year. This picture was taken Tuesday, just as the river started to rise. At crest, the water was about halfway up the large doors.
Also, here are some photos from the Iowa DOT of some of the rural areas. The pictures are a few days old and the water in most of the places, especially Coralville, is much higher today. Vinton is my hometown, and it's something else. They have a max security jail there that is totally flooded. They had to move inmates out in a boat and get them to other jails in the area. I think many ended up at the prison in Anamosa or Oakdale.
There has been record-setting flooding in Eastern Iowa the past few days. about 500 city blocks in Cedar Rapids are under several feet of water. Several main highways, such as Interstates 80 and 380 have been closed because the rivers they cross - the Iowa and Cedar, have covered bridges over them.
No one here has seen flooding of this magnitude. We had "record setting" floods in 1993, but the levels this year have already surpassed the totals for 1993. The water in Cedar Rapids has crested, but the Iowa river that goes through Iowa City and Coralville isn't expected to crest until Tuesday or Wednesday.
So, I've been sandbagging for the past few days. I have about an hour drive to work, but I can't go because every possible route to get me there is closed, so I'm on a kind of vacation. My house sits on the high ground, so I'm not worried about my property, but my neighbors are being flooded, so I've been helping them.
This is a crazy time - the rain only stopped for about 24 hours, and now I hear thunder approaching, again. Apparently we have very severe weather headed our way and I can hear the tornado sirens. Great.
Speaking of tornadoes, we've had two deadly tornadoes in the state. Recently, a tornado in the Parkersburg area killed 7 and a few days ago, a tornado in Northwest Iowa killed 4 boyscouts in injured several more. Here is a picture sent to me by a friend. It was taken as the tornado passed by a farm in Northwest Iowa. Click here for media coverage of Parkersburg and The Boy Scouts.
So, all in all, it's nuts here.