The first real signs of hope in the midst of this tragic flood appeared today. Cedar Rapids water is operating at 50% – hallelujah! We were at 25% and having to drastically reduce water usage – no showers, no laundry, minimal flushing, bottled water up the yin yang, that sort of thing. Today they put us on an every other day water plan. Today I got to do laundry, wash dishes, take a shower, etc. Tomorrow I will abstain. Back to showering on Tuesday. This will be our life for a week or two, but it’s everything to us at this point. It could be, and has been, much, much worse. We were in serious danger of running out of water by Tuesday or Wednesday, but the city pulled together and drastically reduced water use the last few days, and we were able to get ourselves back up to 50% capacity today. Go Cedar Rapids!
Also today in Cedar Rapids, people are starting to be allowed back into their homes. However, many houses are still unsafe, and as a result the city isn’t letting many back into their homes just yet. This has understandably led to some high tempers on the part of these home owners, but this too shall pass. We’re moving forward, and so far the city leaders have done an incredible job managing this crisis. It hasn’t been perfect – as they themselves admit – but in light of these historic circumstances, I say kudos.
To the south of us, the flood waters in Iowa City have already crested! This is very good news. It was supposed to crest on Tuesday with about a foot and a half more to go. However, today the Army Corps of Engineers said the Iowa River has crested early and below previous estimates. This is great news for the University of Iowa in particular, where several important buildings were in serious danger of extensive flood damage. There has been much too much flooding in the Coralville / Iowa City area, but at least it won’t be as bad as it could have been. So much has been lost already, but after the week we’ve all had, any sort of good news is welcome.
Of course, the long road to recovery begins now. The signs of hope have appeared today, and do give us a small measure of joy. For that we are thankful. The way this city (Cedar Rapids) has pulled together is amazing. I know Iowa City and all of the communities in Eastern Iowa have done the same. The unbelievable amount of human compassion that manifests itself at a time like this is truly something to behold. Self-centeredness is put aside and a true love that extends beyond the self is brought to the fore. It’s the exactly the way God intended us to be! Now why can’t we be like this all the time?