Friday, June 13, 2008


Well, this has been a he** of a week. It started out all right, I guess. Was painting up in a salon in Cedar Rapids Monday evening. Was in a lot of pain the next day, but good work.

On Tuesday Marco Polo and I went to a gentleman's house to help put his air conditioner back together, and since he was so close, we went to the reservoir to see if it had gone over the spillway. It was inches away. It went over later that night. Thanks Army Cor of Engineers.

Then, Tuesday evening my neighbor who happens to be a deputy sheriff pulled up while I was out in the yard and said we, as in the town of Tiffin, would be getting some water and that sandbagging was going to start on Wednesday.

I live in a duplex type dwelling. Our houses kind of butt up to each other instead of side by side. Makes my place look like a free standing home on the corner. The other part behind me is several yards from this creek that runs the whole length of the street and then some. Usually it is rather quiet and is not much of a threat. Now there is the possibility of the Iowa River backing up into Clear Creek, then backing into this creek and causing a lot of flooding.

During the 500 year flood,(which by the way, happened in 1993. That's a short 500 years.) this area in which I live was still undeveloped. Now, with all the fill and the building and the additional building that Coralville has done. (note: the hill that was moved from the north side of the road to the flood plain on the south so they could build a Lowe's. Plus the mall and other business literally built in the flood plain, not to mention the Marriott) I fear that my street may be in trouble.

Many of us from town helped build a sand bag wall behind the houses lining the creek. Great stretching lifting, cardio and weight workout, but when my heart rate reached 144 I knew I had to stop or drop.

Anyway, the kicker to this is that I have a basement. Not a walk-in, a real basement. We have a sup pump that we recently replaced with a more powerful one, and it is keeping up with the rain water quite well. The problem is that I have two window wells in the basement. If the water starts going through the low place between my house and the house just north of us, it might just think that low spot in the window well would be a great place to go and make an unwanted indoor pool. (no jokes here people, it really isn't funny).

Soooo, I have been sandbagging and putting up plastic. The window well on the north end has coragated steel around it also so that might help. Major kudos to my work buddy Marco Polo who has been helping me in this endevour. He came up with the steel idea. I am hoping we won't have to test it out.

Now, the next job is to get the really important stuff out of the basement. I have two freezers. One if full of beef and the other has home grown chickens, some pork, pizza meatballs pies etc... Those are a priority. Washer/dryer, micro wave oven, actually two, one with a broken door handle,exercise bike, computer, video tapes, books and on and on and on.

I also have a generator to run the pumps in case of a power outage. Yes, I used the plural, pumps. I have a bucket with a whole lot of holes in it in the north window well and if water starts building there, I can pump it out.

My foundation is pretty high, so if I can keep the water from coming into the windows, I stand a real fighting chance. Some other things have been working in the city of Tiffin's favor as well. The Iowa river has a very strong flow and it seems to be literally sucking the water from Clear Creek. The other is not so good for Coralville. A levi was breached near 1st ave so the baseball fields and businesses in that area are getting more water than expected. Bad for them, good for Tiffin. The water can spread out more. At least quite a bit of the area there is baseball and soccer fields.

Poor Cedar Rapids!! Elis Island just looks like someone just dropped a couple buildings in the middle of a very large river. 380 is the only way to get from one side of town to the other. Highway 30 east is closed, 965 between North Liberty and Swisher is closed, Hwy 1 near Mt. Vernon is closed.... It is very difficult to get around.

I don't know how many people read this, but whoever you are, send up a little prayer for the people effected by this flooding going on in Iowa and pray that the rain will stop for a while so things can settle down. I would really like to keep my basement dry. Thanks so much. ;-)

I will try to keep all of you posted.