Monday, June 16, 2008
Katrina on the Prairie
"What makes Iowa difficult makes Iowans strong."
It is a discouraging time to be in Iowa, "the beautiful land." The lone sandbagger in the photo taken just a few blocks from my home represents thousands of volunteers who contribute their sweat toward the anti-flooding efforts. Senator Tom Harkin advised my nephew David to "put on some sunscreen" when the two of them met on the frontline of the sandbagging effort in Iowa City. Sadly, despite the best of efforts, it has been a losing cause too often.
After an overnight evacuation, my sister's family joyfully returned to their home which was untouched by water in Cedar Rapids. Because they didn't lose electricity, the sump pumps had even kept their basement dry. But I'm sure you've seen the photos of thousands of structures with water up to their roofs when a dirt levee broke. Our family was fortunate.
Here in southeast Iowa, we're braced for the crest still to come when the Iowa, Cedar and Wapsipinicon Rivers...and all the rest...empty into the Mississippi. The "Old Miss," which forms the border of so many states, lends a poignant note this week to my "border explorer" theme.
Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, good karma, and concern as our nation faces a Katrina on the Prairie.