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Old 06-14-2008, 01:14 PM
redrat11 redrat11 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Default Cedar Rapids under water...

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AFP: Floods force thousands from homes in Iowa
Floods force thousands from homes in Iowa
1 day ago

DES MOINES, Iowa (AFP) Iowa's biggest cities were submerged Saturday after swollen rivers forced thousands of residents to flee their homes amid devastating floods in the Midwestern US state.

Unprecedented flooding covered hundreds of city blocks in Cedar Rapids as officials urged residents to limit their water use to drinking, according to the municipality's website.

In the state capital Des Moines, population 200,000, public works crews and Iowa National Guard soldiers raced to build a berm after a levee breached in the early hours of Saturday.

The University of Iowa, based in Iowa City, cancelled classes until June 22 as the flood threatened its dorms, research facilities, library and art museum. The university urged employees to work from home if possible or consider volunteering in the emergency relief efforts.

"This has been a very trying week for our state," Iowa Governor Chet Culver said in a statement. "Responding to a crisis like this takes the cooperation of everyone, from the federal government down to the local communities."

Extreme weather has left at least 15 dead and thousands homeless in the state in recent days, said Bret Voorhees, spokesman for the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Five others were killed in other parts of the Midwestern United States.

Two people were killed by floodwaters in Indiana and two delivery people drowned Sunday when their car fell off a washed out road into a flooded creek, the National Weather Service said.

Another person was killed Wednesday when a tornado ripped through the town of Chapman, Kansas.

The disaster began when a major tornado struck on May 25. It was followed by heavy rains, with more thunderstorms expected this weekend, and on Wednesday another twister touched ground in western Iowa, killing four boy scouts.

Serious flooding has hit the entire region, including parts of South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas and was expected to continue through next week.

"We're trapped with nowhere to go," said Gloria Hines, who lives about a dozen blocks from where the river spilled over in Cedar Rapids.

The floodwaters had not reached her home yet, but the street was made impassable by water gushing out of storm drains. A few small fish spilled out of the contaminated sewage ways.

Torrential rains Thursday left downriver towns preparing for the worst and the National Guard called in to help an army of volunteers with sandbagging and rescue efforts.

"Our predictions of a 100-year flood, or greater, are really coming to pass," said Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey.

A boat ride through Cedar Rapid's water-logged downtown saw every branch of government crippled by the floods.

The library, the federal building and city hall were all filled with water, which rippled through basements and pulled files and furniture out through the windows.

Inmates in the county jail were evacuated along with their mattresses.

On one building, clutching the cats that nearly cost them their lives, perched Charles Schmitt, 19, and girlfriend Kayla Lambreacht.

They had fled their nearby home when the basement filled with water. But when they stopped to take a picture one of the cats jumped into the river, prompting Schmitt to go in after it, and his girlfriend to follow.

Clutching two storage bins that Lambreacht tossed into the water, they floated for 45 minutes before they found a building to climb into.

"We kept calling 911 but the phone went out," Schmitt said. "We were up there for two hours."

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Old 06-16-2008, 07:01 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,797
Default Re: Cedar Rapids under water...

The Red Cross' "disaster relief" fund is bankrupt.

American Red Cross: Disaster funds are depleted - Yahoo! News

American Red Cross:
Disaster funds are depleted
By AMY LORENTZEN, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 17 minutes ago

DES MOINES, Iowa - The American Red Cross said on Monday that its Disaster Relief Fund is wiped out and it's being forced to borrow money to help flood victims throughout the Midwest.

Jeff Towers, the organization's chief development officer, said the balance for domestic disaster relief efforts is zero. He said the American Red Cross would borrow to keep workers and volunteers in the field helping flood victims.

"The Red Cross remains committed to providing the scale of services that people expect of the Red Cross when disaster strikes, and the way that we are doing that right now is taking out loans to fund our response," he said during a conference call from Washington. "That's not a position we want to be in; it's obviously not sustainable."

The shortage in the organization's only domestic disaster relief fund comes as it continues flood relief efforts in soaked Iowa and ramps up its work downstream in Illinois and Missouri as more flooding is expected there. Officials said the Red Cross has 2,500 workers on the ground, 89 percent of them volunteers.

Joe Becker, senior vice president of disaster services, said the fund has been depleted over the past few years in the absence of large-scale disasters that bring attention to the relevance of the Red Cross.

"We have had a large number of mid-size disasters or silent disasters that have cost us a considerable amount of money where we've not been able to raise what it's cost us to provide that service," he said.

So far, he said the flood response in the Midwest has cost about $15 million, and Towers said it could reach as high as about $40 million.

"That's putting this in the category of a very significant disaster for the Red Cross, historically, when you would look at what we spend on relief efforts," Becker said.

Towers said the organization has raised only about $3.2 million toward the flooding response. He said it's an especially difficult time to seek funds with a troubled economy and many previous givers now reaching an age that they are on a fixed income.

He said much of what the Red Cross can expect to spend will depend on what happens down river.

"Frankly, the wild card is whether St. Louis floods or how significantly St. Louis floods," Becker said, adding that the crest there is expected to be 39 feet, about 10 feet lower than in 1993. "We're taking that as good news."
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Old 06-17-2008, 03:11 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,797
Default Re: Cedar Rapids under water...

Another levee break.

The rising Mississippi threatens thousands of acres of Farmland in Gulfport, Illinois.

If our military was not USED by the powers that be to protect and confiscate their interests abroad, perhaps they would be here in the U.S. providing humanitarian assistance to the people in this country who are in need.

Rising Mississippi disrupts bridge travel - Yahoo! News
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Old 06-18-2008, 03:43 PM
BlueAngel BlueAngel is offline
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Default Re: Cedar Rapids under water...

Swollen Mississippi overruns 20 levees:

Small towns suffer big losses as rivers rise - Yahoo! News
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:03 PM
Fahrenheit 912 Fahrenheit 912 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 54
Default Re: Cedar Rapids under water...

Citizens of Iowa: That's what you get for starting the political ball rolling for Barack O'Bama. Just in case you thought that George Bush and his maniacal bunch of technocrats weren't able to harness the weather for devious, destructive means. Take that !!!

Last edited by Fahrenheit 912 : 06-19-2008 at 10:32 PM. Reason: present tense change
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