The river in Cedar Rapids, IA is beginning to go down. My dad, son and daughter-in-law are all fine. Those are the good things ,for which I am extremely grateful, given the horrendous flooding that they have been experiencing. The city has at least a week before flood waters ebb below flood stage and the fresh water supply is in jeopardy but they seem to have turned the corner for now.
I have watched with horror on www.gazetteonline.com as a city I've lived in and around for half my life was engulfed. Like in any disaster, my heart goes out to the people who have lost homes and businesses. I always feel a special hurt for the abandoned pets who must be rescued, even though I know that getting people out is a priority. I assure our cats we would never leave them behind but sometimes there is no choice.
My dad and I were talking last night about familiar buildings now covered to their rooftops with muddy, swirling water. We discuss how much of the old downtown will have to be razed. Will the bridges that have spanned the river since long before my birth be damaged beyond repair once the flood waters recede leaving the city largely divided? While this is not a disaster on the scale of something like Katrina, those of who have lived in and loved this stereotypical Midwest city know that its landscape and history are forever changed.
Keep a good thought (or a prayer, if you are so inclined) for those who now must rebuild their lives. It will be a long haul.