The Road to Recovery

The waters are receding in Cedar Rapids and the Iowa River has crested in Iowa City (earlier and lower than predicted–at least a bit of good news amid the rest). So, now the long, painful road to recovery begins. The latest estimate of damages in the area is close to 2 billion. And this apparently doesn’t even factor in the loss of cropland for this year which in many areas will be a total loss.

The city began to allow people back into their homes after an inspection but this proved a longer and more complicated process than anyone imagined. After further inspection they have decided that neighborhoods are too dangerous at this point and all entry into flooded houses has been denied. People are understandably upset and nerves are frayed; on the other hand, I believe that the authorities are indeed acting in everyone’s best interests. At least from the limited images we get, flooded areas seem like toxic nightmares to me. One report I saw on the news urged people who were able to get to their houses not to pump water from basements too quickly as the pressure would make the walls collapse–this is certainly something I wouldn’t have been aware of and I can’t imagine how many people are ready to rush in and start pumping. We fortunately got through this with few injuries; now seems like the time when injuries would start piling up. I don’t have answers to how to handle this, but I can see the need for caution here. That said, I am speaking as an outsider. My house was not flooded and I can only imagine the emotions welling up in the floods’ victims. For the homeowners and the authorities alike, the next few weeks will prove a vexed existence.

I am taking stock of organizations that are offering services and aid to the victims and to the city. I will post them shortly to this site should anyone feel inclined to contribute to particular efforts. As we know with the all-too-frequent disasters recently, though, the Red Cross is always a worthy avenue to funnel funds to those in need. I will give updates as we go, though, on other opportunities to help.

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