Sunday, June 15, 2008
Flood: Coe is fine, CR hurting
As I look through the dozens of photos I’ve taken over the past four days, it strikes me that they lack proper perspective. My motives were purely to document this historic event for the college, but I hope that no one draws the conclusion that Coe was decimated.
Compared to portions of town within as much as a mile of the Cedar River – which, now quite literally, slices through the heart of the city – Coe got off easy. Sure we had to shut down and evacuate a few dozen students, but Coe will be back on track in short order.
If you were to walk on campus – as I did just about an hour ago – you wouldn’t know anything happened, other than the large generators stationed strategically to restore power to critical areas and the absence of human activity. Head back of Eby Annex, where only the brave venture anyway, and it’s quite a different picture.
Those pictures can be viewed here. And I’m proud to have been able to provide them for alumni across the globe who were curious how the Cedar Rapids flood was affecting their alma mater. Rest assured, Kohawks, Coe College is fine.
I can’t say as much for Cedar Rapids. A large portion of town was decimated, and my heart aches for all those homeowners and business owners. City landmarks and legends like Czech Village, the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, the public library, CSPS, Smulekoff’s, etc., were deluged. We’ll see in the coming days, as the river returns to her banks, but the damage is unfathomable.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette has done a fabulous job covering this historic event despite and, perhaps, because of being located within the flood zone.
I’m confident in the local government and business leadership, many of whom I’m proud to count as friends. Cedar Rapids will rise again! Her signature Independence Day celebration, the Freedom Festival – now delayed until Labor Day weekend – will be extra special this year.
Meanwhile, RAGBRAI awaits!