Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flood of '08: Downtown fading fast

Well, just a couple hours ago I was wondering how well downtoown Cedar Rapids might be hit by the rising water. The local power company, Alliant, is slowly taking on water and it has shut down the power for the city. Levels are covering the steet now as seen in the picture below:

This is about 2 and a half blocks from my job, 3 and a half blocks from the downtown library, 8 or 9 blocks from the now powerless main post office levels.

Now the water services in the city are also becoming strained as the city fights to avoid any sewage backup in to drinking water.

City hall is even gone and the downtown prisoners are being moved to the nearest prison facility as the jail is underwater. My house went without powers for about two hours as energy levels are rerouted to keep dangerous transformer damage.

Reports coming in now say we have already reached the previously predicted crest of 24.5 feet (12.5 feet above flood level) without reaching crest yet.

Below is a look at the bridges in downtown Cedar Rapids. The railroad bridge downtown is already gone, washed away despite several tons of extra weight holding it down. Most likely all downtown bridges will be gone by later today.

Normally these bridges run a good twenty to thirty feet over the Cedar River.

Right now, it can be best described as a damn mess.

Currently we are holding out at my house right off Mt. Vernon Rd about a mle and a half from downtown. These photos send shivers down my side as I look at them and I fear it will only get worse. Thankfully, my daughter is currently visiting the town of Traer where her grandparents, my folks, live. We had planned to go get her just before Father’s Day, and that is looking less and less likely as the water levels continue to rise.

It is terrible out there right now, but the people of Cedar Rapids are fighting as hard as they can to keep the damage from spreading. But with the water levels still rising, it is anyone’s guess as to how long we can hold out.

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