Felt like we just got done with Winter. Snowstorm, snow and sleet, snow this, and snow that. We were bombarded with the snow, it made the transition from Winter to Spring rather unnoticeable. I honestly felt like Spring was not going to happen at all.
And now, while Spring is finally here [and almost gone], it was not behaving nicely either. Apparently Lady Spring thought, “Well, if Father Winter could do it, I can too!” And swoosh… came down the rain. Lots and lots of them. Four to even seven days straight full water/hail pouring down from the sky. Our county has gone from thunderstorm watch, thunderstorm warning, flood watch, flood warning, flash flood watch, flash flood warning, tornado watch, and tornado warning. Because of the thunderstorms at night, the kids have been sleeping with me (including Max, our pet) while Dad evacuated himself to the basement. The four of us on my bed curled up like shrimps, close to each other, with our heads under the pillows; attempted to reduce the boom! noise and the bright lightning.
Midwest has been hit the worst by the rain. Iowa, mostly. Many places were either flooded or hit by a tornado. Late May, a tornado hit Parkersburg, IA; killed 7 people and injured at least 50 people. Parkersburg is about 83 miles from Ames -the town we live in- and only 30 miles away from where my in-laws live: Denver, IA. One of my husband’s cousins live there and her house was flattened by the tornado and is now homeless. Looking at the aerial picture of Parkersburg after being hit (or video)was like looking at a demolished war zone. No buildings remain, just piles of debris. One could not tell where downtown was anymore, or location of houses. Can’t quite tell where one used to live, because the street name was blown away and other landmarks were destroyed.
About a couple of weeks later, a twister hit Little Sioux Scout Ranch (advanced Boys Scout camp) in western Iowa, near Nebraska state line. The twister struck as Iowa, like other midwestern states, was dealing with severe flooding along the upper Mississippi River. Four children were killed, while 40 were injured. From what I read, there was a group of scouts who were out hiking at the time of disaster. Seriously, weren’t they aware that bad weather is approaching? Don’t they have some kind of weather alert system, radio, or TV? But I guess there’s no point in questioning all this. Don’t cry over spilt milk, they said.
The overflow Cedar River forced Cedar Rapids, IA, to evacuate the Mercy Medical Center hospital. Isn’t that crazy? How’d you able to evacuate hundreds of patients in a hurry? Post op patients, elderly patients, patients on wheelchairs, not to mention complicated ones; what a frantic situation I bet it was. The engorged river flowed through Cedar Rapids’ downtown. Hundreds of city blocks were under water, and in some neighborhoods the water was 8 feet high.
Des Moines, Iowa’s capital city, was also flooded. Many of its resident left after a voluntary evacuation request issued on Friday, June 13. So was Burlington, Coralville, Davenport, Iowa City, and more.
The town we live in, Ames, was not flooded as bad as those towns. ‘Just’ a golf course and a couple of streets/parks were flooded. I was actually driving on one of the main road one day, going from work to downtown. I was amazed when I drove back for the same route, the road was closed because it was flooded. I was just driving on it 35 minutes ago and it was fine! The raging South Skunk River was just overflowing so fast, the officials weren’t anticipating it at all, I guess. Judging from the last minute road closed and traffic detour. What usually takes 15 minutes ended up being a 45 minutes deal due to traffic.
Last Saturday we went on road trip ‘to see the flood’. I know it sounded sad, but we were just intrigued. We heard that the U.S. Highway 30 between Boone and Ogden had to be closed because of the flood. We usually drove on that road to go to a state park, and the scenery around it is so pretty. Not boring flat or corn field-y like most of Central Iowa’s scenery, but hilly and curvy. We weren’t the only ones who were touristing the sites, others too. They were just watching… being a curious human being. Some were taking pictures/videos, and some went kanoeing! I couldn’t believe it… some people were actually took their canoe, loaded it up on top of their vehicles, took their kids along with them, drove there, and went kanoeing! That’s pretty risky, I thought.
Now that the rain had stopped pouring like crazy, the flood had decreased little by little. Everybody’s question is now, “What’s in the water?” Other than mud, there’s some scary shit stuff in it like naxious brew of sewage, farm chemicals and fuel. I read somewhere in the paper that the water just reeked of pig feces and diesel fuel in Oakville. Ugh, I couldn’t even imagine how horrible that is.
What about the stress level? Your belongings are destroyed or long gone, you have to live in a shelter (mostly a high school gym) with strangers, the worn out volunteer and Iowa National Guard who was working on the levees, you either still have to clean up your super messy house or find a way to rebuild your house, your medications were swept away by the flood, questionable of safe water to drink, tetanus from the nasty water if they got a cut/laceration, and not to mention mosquitos.
How stressful. It’s probably not as bad as The Great Midwest Flood 1993, but still…
PS: Thanks to the writer, for your concerned comment in my ‘Saya’ page. We’re safe and fine. Our part of Iowa is on a higher ground.