Sandbags, Levees, and Good People

Little Bohemia flood

(Gazette photo by Liz Martin)

This is a sports-related blog, but sports take a distinct back seat today, tomorrow and for quite a while in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Vinton, Elkader, and all throughout the Gazette circulation area and Eastern Iowa.

What the flood of the Cedar, Iowa and Wapsipinicon rivers has brought and is about to bring are destruction and loss. If you’re in another part of the world … you probably should be glad. For a while, anyhow.

I’ve been down to Ellis Blvd. in Cedar Rapids and saw goodness and hard work in every direction. City employees have worked on short sleep for several days now, and will continue to do so for several more. County people helped bring in dirt for makeshift levees. I don’t know what the compensation is, if any. And diesel isn’t cheap.

Volunteers were all over the place shoveling sand, bagging it, tying the bags, lifting the bags onto forklifts, and lifting bags off forklifts to put up barriers from the river as best they could. Many spent several hours under the sun doing serious physical labor for nothing but the knowledge they were helping their city and its people.

Friends came in from all around to help people move possessions from their homes. Moving is hard enough work, but try doing it on nature’s schedule instead of your own.

These are going to be hard times in Eastern Iowa’s river towns, from the flooding through the clean-up of the devastation. It takes good, strong people to get through it. Luckily, Iowa has never lacked for those.

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