We're having record flooding in Eastern Iowa this year. We live out of the flood plain, so it hasn't affected us, except that the city is running short of water, so we have to be careful about water use (showers, washing dishes, flushing toilets, e.g.) Until this declaration, which came yesterday, the flood seemed rather unreal, especially in those rare moments when it isn't raining. I was at Coe Wednesday afternoon when the Sun came out, and it was still out when I rode home. People were going about their daily business, kids were riding bikes and playing in their yards, with no indication that a mile and a half away there was utter chaos.
Yesterday I went down to Iowa City with my friends Paul and Marty, and Marty's son Alosha, to see if we could help. We spent a couple hours on a sandbag line in the Idylwild subdivision, off Dubuque Street in the northern part of the city. Basically I took a sandbag from one person and handed it to the person on the other side of me; the person at the end of the line added it to the wall that was supposed to protect the subdivision from the rising waters. The bags weren't heavy at first, but got heavier as the time wore on. About 1:45, the people in charge of the effort gathered us all around and announced, to our amazement, that the newest projections were that the waters would rise much higher than previously expected, and much higher than the wall we had nearly finished. Ergo, abandon the wall and move to higher ground to try to protect something else.
At that point we four moved to Paul's mother's condo, where we helped her move her belongings from the first floor to the second. Paul's two brothers and some family friends helped, too.
More later... just got an emergency call from a downtown church. Must go!