So I will spare you all by not giving you too many details of our day of football in Iowa City, tailgating with over 150,000 people in 34 degree Fahrenheit weather and being caught on TV with 7:44 left in the 3rd quarter, except to say it was a great experience. My biggest memory of Saturday was driving across the bridge over the Mississippi river, enjoying listening to radio station KRNA, who still play the best music mix of any radio station out there, and watching thousands of cars, trucks and RVs on Interstate 80, all dressed up in black and gold, making the pilgrimage to Kinnick stadium. There is just something about this type of experience for me that has never been replicated in Canada.
I do however want to update you on a story I wrote about extensively about 17 months ago regarding the 500 year flood in Cedar Rapids, IA. While we were in Eastern Iowa this past weekend, we had a chance to tour the flood ravaged areas of Cedar Rapids. Sadly, more than a year later, there are still thousands homes that are uninhabitable and there are thousands of people who are still living in temporary housing. The flood was worse than what I imagined. Driving down street after street, I couldn’t help but gasp. In some neighbourhoods, the flood line on the houses is eight feet or more. Some homes disappeared. The mould and rot is everywhere. There are still blocks of not-yet gutted homes, piles of garbage, and broken dreams. Unlike Katrina, the flood in Cedar Rapids hit just before the economic downturn and then there was the election and so the problems there have been largely forgotten by the media. It is so sad, it is almost criminal.
If you are the type of person who is looking for something to do that would make a difference, I encourage you to go to the website:
There are amazing photos there for those who would like to see what I am writing about. Whether it be taking a road trip to support the demolition and rebuilding process (I’ll come with you!), volunteering with flood-ravaged businesses to help surviving ones get back on track, or simply to make a donation, I am sure they would appreciate a Canadian response.