Water, water everywhere... literally

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No You Are
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Water, water everywhere... literally

Postby No You Are » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:01 am

OK, so, as some may know, this kid is just finishing a brief year in Omaha before moving back to Iowa City in a few weeks. Therefore, we are in Iowa City this weekend to close on our new house.

For those who haven't followed the news, half of the state is flooded, and you wouldn't believe how bad it is in Iowa City right now. Water is just pouring in off the Iowa River, breaking levees, going over dams, etc.

To put in perspective, normal water flow at the local resevour that feeds the city is around 2,000 cubic feet per second. Right now, it is over the spillway and trucking in at 30,000 cfs, and will go up to about 40,000 cfs before cresting sometime in the middle of next week - assuming all rain in the entire state (cuz it all ends up here) stops right now. In 1993 we had "The Great Flood of 93"... what was called a 100 year flood. Well, this makes that seem like running through a garden hose. There is literally no classification for it... it's well past the 500-year flood stage.

Neighboring Cedar Rapids (about 30 miles upstream) has 100 city blocks under about 6 feet of water downtown.

Here, they are telling the evacuated to not plan on being home til August. Luckily, the house we are buying is on high ground... the bank we were to close at isn't, but I'll take that deal.

Anyhoo, just thought I would pass the word on. I gotta get back to building my Ark. If anybody has a female Whitetailed Deer, send it my way. I've only got two males and THAT won't help any with the rebuilding.

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Postby Squid » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:50 am

Oh God. I'm so sorry I didn't think to ask about this, NYA! Like buying a house isn't goddamned stressful enough.

So wait, this entails you slogging over to the bank somehow , dealing with paperwork and then making back to wherever you're staying? What a nightmare.

Sending you the best wishes possible. Please stay safe, and let us know the latest when you have time.

ps: Claire vs. Gorilla = best picture ever.

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Postby Liesbeth » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:39 am

Gee, i was wondering if this was near you when I read about it. So glad you got a house high up, good luck swimming to it. Will you be able to move back from OMaha okay, or do you foresee trouble with that?

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leigh
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Postby leigh » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:35 am

Sorry to hear Iowa City is under water again...
I lived there during the flood of '93, when the Coralville Dam broke and washed away a highway (although the silver lining was that the exposed bedrock was teeming with fossils). Hopefully, after the waters recede and everything returns to normal, you'll get to enjoy the "city"--which manages to pack a lot of culture into such a small space.

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No You Are
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Postby No You Are » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:45 pm

Yeah, our stuff and move should be OK. The water will still be here, but we have a clear path to the new house. Very lucky.


leigh (and anybody else familiar with the city) here is some perspective.... the ENTIRE Coralville strip is underwater. There is over 6 feet of water at the Wig 'n Pen (who's pizza was one of the reasons I was so excited to get back).
The last bridges crossing the river have been closed, so the town is officially bisected. Getting around is practically impossible. They are not even bothering to sandbag the Iowa Memorial Union anymore, cuz there aint enough bags to keep it all out. Parts of interstate 80 and 380 are closed. To get from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City they are suggesting going up to Cedar Falls, over to I35, down to Des Moines, and back to Iowa City. That is at least a 250 mile, 4 hour drive to get 25 miles.

And it's only going to get worse.

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Postby Betty Felon » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:30 pm

YIKES.

Wow. I'm so sorry NYA. I'm glad your family and your future house are ok though. And at least Iowa City seems to have a working evacuation plan. eeeeeep. :(

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leigh
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Postby leigh » Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:01 am

What a disaster! Somehow I missed the whole 2nd half of your 1st post on my first read...sorry your return to IC is during such horrible circumstances.

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Moni
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Postby Moni » Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:09 am

Oh my God, how could I miss that?? I'm lame.

That is so awful... floodings are terrible, many people say even worse than fire.
Please keep us updated.

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Postby No You Are » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:31 am

Some good news!!!! (maybe)

The res/river may crest as early as tonight. It'll still be til at least the end of July for it to go back below flood stage, but at least it will stop rising.

The bad news is, however, right now I am back in Omaha (we left last night because we wanted to get out while we still could) and there is a massive thunderstorm dumping on us right now, and it is headed right across the state to where it is needed the least. That could change things.

I was seeing sandbags in my sleep last night.

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Postby Harvey Winters » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:03 am

Is everything getting better now???

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Postby h4ck » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:52 am

any updates?

flooding to me, is kinda weird. i hate the devastation, but i absolutely LOVE seeing things out of place. i think its so cool to see things that people dont expect. like a road 5 feet under water, with no cars on it.. trees uprooted and replaced in strange places, cars on roofs..

my home town got flooded really bad last year, the river had risen so high it was over 10'+ flood walls, and rolling over them the entire distance of the road like a 200 foot long waterfall thats in the wrong place. no cars to be seen, just roads getting a bath. really cool.

obviously the rest of it sucks.

speaking of, one thing that i found absolutely amazing, in mecklenberg county, North Carolina, there is an entire area sitting on the Davidson river that was bought up by Duke Power. They caved in the houses, and then dammed up the river in 1963 to form what is now Lake Norman. Now, if you go to the lakes edge in various places (off Catawba Rd. i know for sure, like down Bethel Church Rd., and through Alta Harbor) and look into the water, you can see roads and housing foundations under water. Like an entire underground city. Roads ride down to the lakeside, and just keep going.

Its pretty trippy.

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No You Are
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Postby No You Are » Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:04 am

The water is going down, but it's still there (and going to be there for a while). Basically, the Coralville STrip (which is one of the main streets - full of businesses, places to eat, etc) is now under 3 feet of water, as opposed to 8 feet. Much less, but still nothing you can do there.

They just decided they won't have to cancel or push back the fall semester at the University, which is good.

Also, they just opened up two more bridges that cross the river, so getting around town doesn't take 2 hours.

It will be interesting to see how it is when we get back there (for good) on Thursday. Some friends of ours finally got to get back to see their house (in a police boat) yesterday, but I haven't heard how it looked. They still won't be able to get back to start the repair/rebuild until August, though.

What is terrible is that many of the people who's homes were destroyed have no flood insurance, because they told not to buy it as they weren't in a flood zone. THAT's how bad this was. It went way past the "500 Year Flood Plain" to people that could have never expected to see water.

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No You Are
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Postby No You Are » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:08 am

Got some good news from waterland.

The water finally stopped going over the dam's spillway the other day, so that is very good.

On top of that, as leigh mentioned earlier, the area/gorge below the spillway is full of fossils, and this latest flood has uncovered even more and expanded the fossil gorge by up to 30%. Probably not much of a consolation to many, but still kinda cool. I'ma halfta head out there sometime in the next few weeks.

http://beta.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080625/NEWS01/806250315/1079

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grant
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Postby grant » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:42 pm

Fossil necklace!


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