“This is Cedar Rapids’ all-time disaster.”
— Legendary Iowa broadcaster Bob Brooks
Life isn’t returning to normal, but it is a bit more routine these days in Cedar Rapids, ten days since the Friday the 13th flood that left $1 billion in damage and one-fifth the city’s population homeless.
The floodwaters have moved on, heading south through other doomed farm cities, eventually pouring into the Mississippi River. Iowa faces a potential $3 billion crop loss that could reverberate through an already bleak economy. According to CNN, FEMA estimates that 35,000 to 40,000 in several states have been displaced by the floods. About 25,000 of those are in Cedar Rapids.
Bob Brooks, who broadcast Iowa Hawkeyes football games for 55 years, appeared on the Kernels’ Friday pre-game show with John Rodgers. Now 81, Brooks has certainly seen it all in Cedar Rapids history, so his observations about the Flood of 2008 were particularly poignant. At one point, his face started to crack, and so did John’s.
(For what it’s worth, guys, I’ve done my fair share of mourning too.)
A reminder to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which is taking out loans to get by. If/when a Cedar Rapids-specific fund is set up, I’ll let you know. John noted on the webcast that the Kernels raised $1,000 from fan donations during their Thursday night game, their first game since the flood.