Sunday, June 22, 2008


Cleaning up flood damage in downtown Cedar Rapids from Richard Pratt on Vimeo.

The devastation that the floods left behind is unbelievable. I feel so bad for the residents and small business owners that lost everything. This poor woman who owns a catering company just realizes that her 1 year anniversary of starting her business is the very day she is being interviewed about what she is going to do now. How ironic and sad.

Driving through the city now, you see nothing but mountains of debris that is being hauled out of the buildings. The entire first floor of every building in a 400 square block radius has to be gutted right down to the bare framing and rebuilt. The streets are lined with trucks from flood cleanup and renovation companies from all over the country.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

FLOOD 2008...

This is an image of Mays Island in the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids yesterday. In the photo you can see the 1st avenue, 2nd avenue and 3rd avenue bridges that all cross the island.

Today this is what the island and the bridges look like.The flooding that is going on in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities all along the Cedar River in eastern Iowa is historic. We all thought the flood that happened here in 1993 were bad. They were nothing in comparison to today and the river isn't expected to crest until Friday morning at around 7am.

As of 5pm today, the only way to cross the river in Cedar Rapids is Interstate 380 which goes through downtown above the dam which is approximately from where the photo above was taken.
I was one of many who were sent home early from work today because as the day progressed, they kept closing bridges all over the city, limiting the ability for a lot of people to get home.

This was a railroad bridge that was loaded with rail cars that were loaded with sand and rock in hope of keeping the bridge in place. But at about 10am this morning the 105 year old bridge couldn't withstand the force of the water any longer and was completely destroyed. So now, most of the bridge and rail cars are in the river.

Kind of a surrealistic day today.

It's Saturday morning and the river finally crested yesterday around noon at about 32 feet above flood stage. It actually got worse than the pictures you see above. At this point there is one way out of town and that is Interstate 380 going north. They have close all other access into and out of the city yesterday because water is over all of the roads except to the north. As I drove over the interstate bridge to go to work yesterday morning, I just wanted to cry. You just can't imagine all of the homes that are completely destroyed and will likely have to be torn down. Only rooftops can be seen on most of them. At last report that I heard, more than 483 square blocks of Cedar Rapids are under water.