Friday, June 13, 2008

Flood Evacuations Underway in Parts of Des Moines

Hi folks ...
A good number of people have called, emailed and left comments here expressing kind concern. We'd like to thank all of you for your warmth and compassion.

We personally are fine, and aren't likely to be evacuated unless something truly catastrophic happens in our part of the city. The map to the right is a cropped image I put together to show where we are relative to the voluntary evacuation zones around the city (shaded in light blue). These areas make up the '500 Year Flood Plain' at highest risk for flooding, from either the DM or Raccoon rivers. Fortunately, we are on much higher ground north of the zone on this map detail Where you see that poorly scrawled 'X' is the Urban Oasis corner. For a larger map click here (if you're interested, there's also a PDF of an entire city map in great detail).

So tonight and through the weekend, Des Moines will be watching anxiously and waiting to see how this may proceed in the next few days. Earlier today I saw a report that the DM river had crested earlier than thought, which was what prompted the downtown evacuations. For more, The Register continues frequently to post updated information. They have some very good photo galleries of various parts of the city and across the state.

Tonight, however, I am much more concerned for the northeastern part of the state, in particular Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, because it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say the situation there is fast approaching the dire threshold. Iowa City, already experiencing major flooding, remains at very high risk for even worse damage. It still sounds pretty precarious with regard to the Iowa river and that dam in Coralville. For a perspective on conditions in that part of the state, IAboy gives his thoughts at An Iowa Garden. And Cedar Rapids is basically a sunken city at this point ... from what I've read, almost all of the downtown there is under several feet of water, and 25,000 residents (almost a quarter of the population, I think) have already been displaced by the raging Cedar river.

The other night I wrote that the flooding was a statewide disaster. I think I need to revise that to read a region wide catastrophe, as more and more upper midwestern states are experiencing real problems ... Wisconsin (near and dear to my heart) ... Minnesota, parts of Southern Illinois, with Missouri most likely to follow soon .... I sure wish I could teleport some of our (midwestern) excess water to fellow bloggers who have told me they wish they could have some. Me too, because we could share a lot with other states currently undergoing record drought conditions. We could water FARfetched's garden and lawn, and while we're at it, why not help irrigate Annie in Austin's garden, since she's said it's very dry down her way.

I better go get working on that teleporter ... I have a feeling it may take some time.

LATE UPDATE: The Des Moines Register is now reporting that the Army Corps of Engineers and city officials are "confident the Des Moines levees will hold." There remain several areas of the city causing concern, and the voluntary evacuation is in effect through Sunday.


katiebird said...

While I'm VERY thankful that you and your neighborhood are safe, I'm upset about the devastation of the region.

We too have ties to the area. We go to Duluth, MN (actually a small town in Wisconsin but no one would recognize the name) and drive through the region on our way....

Well, I'm off to bed. But, I wanted to thank you for this detailed update.

katiebird said...

IVG, I left my email in a reply to one of your comments at my place. It's I'd like to talk to you about something you said. But, more privately.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

You're most welcome, KB. Through my readership is small (and I'm ok with that), I have been trying to convey a perspective on the ground not filtered by the MSM.

I've never seen anything like this (but I only moved here in '94) before, and I saw plenty of regular flooding when I lived in the mutant string bean state of FL, which I not so affectionately referred to as the 'slipshod state' because things did get done, but just halfway ... Kind of like their 'elections.'

I'll send you an email soon about what I said at your place ... am I summoned to the Principal's office? LOL

boran2 said...

I'm glad to hear that you're okay, IVG. And I'm glad to see the good news about the levees.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Thanks, B2! 3 straight days w/sun and no rain have really made a difference, and the worst of it appears to be over in DM. Now, of course, there's the clean up phase, and that's not pretty.

Main concern remains Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, where they remain in a world of hurt because those rivers haven't even crested yet (supposed to come tomorrow or Tuesday).

Annie in Austin said...

Wish we in Austin could have helped you IVG - thanks for thinking of us, and you can bet you're on our minds, too.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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