In 2008, it was epic. Our flooding rivaled Katrina for devastation and damage. No, you didn't read much about it because flooding in small and medium-sized towns doesn't make the news. It was as bad, though, relatively speaking. It's taken years to come back from it. The Performing Arts Center in Iowa City just reopened 2 weeks ago after being in temporary quarters for 8 years. The libraries and theaters and museums just reopened 3 and 4 years ago.
Now it's happening again. But we've learned a lot and the damage won't be as bad this time. Flood measures are in place at the buildings, parking lots are on the ground floor now and offices are higher up, and we know now which roads will flood and which won't (which we didn't know in 2008). The entire community has volunteered space, money, sweat labor, and support. That's kind of what we do. We dig in and get it done. It's great if the Feds help us, but we've learned not to count on them. Don't get me started on that.
This isn't a question of people living near flood zones (I mean, New Orleans: I'm sorry. You're below sea level. Yes, you will flood. Often.) Some areas that are flooding here are, for the most part, far away from the river. We lost a lot of homes and business in 2008 and they didn't rebuild in the flood plain. We put in green spaces and parks. Yes, some businesses will flood, but it won't be as bad as it has been in the past. Hopefully.
So keep your eyes on that news story buried somewhere in your newspaper or that 30-second sound bite on the national news. That's us, in the heartland. We'll come through it, but it would be nice if you folks out there would send us some positive thoughts and prayers. We'll probably need 'em.
J L Wilson