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Posts Tagged ‘Flood’

It’s hard to say that our flooded communities have gained in any way from recent events, but if nothing else, I think it’s taught many of us the valuable lesson of perspective.

For our part, we’ve made some donations, and plan to make more in the near future. The kids gathered some toys to donate to the family of a co-worker who’s lost everything, and they were very much appreciated. We’ve gained something from that, I think — a sense of compassion, of knowing that our concerns pale when we see the troubles of so many around us.

I’m still hoping we haven’t lost as much as initially feared, but in some ways it’s too early to say. But will I be able to take the kids to the old A&W on Ellis Boulevard that I visited so often as a kid? Will our downtown institutions return to their former glory, so we can see great shows at the Paramount and Theatre Cedar Rapids? Status undetermined. I’ll keep hoping for the best.

This is my town, Cedar Rapids. I have so many memories of being raised here. And one of a parent’s great joys is to be able to share experiences from their own childhood. I’m still looking forward to having that opportunity.

But enough of that for now. I’ll be checking out for a few days after today, for our annual trip to Yogi Bear’s Camp Jellystone with family friends. It’ll be a great escape from what’s been our reality for the last few weeks. I’ll have an update when we return.

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We weren’t flooded. But it feels like we were.

I’m not saying, by any stretch, that our family is hurting as much as the thousands of local residents, and business owners, who’ve been flat devastated by the insidious avalanche of water that poured through their property, leaving a blanket of unspeakable gunk in its wake. Believe me, I have a keen sense of perspective here. And we’re lucky. So very lucky.

But right now, at this moment, it’s hard to think of much that’s not flood-tinged. And I find myself feeling guilty, at times, for thinking of anything in non-flood terms.

Take the kids to the pool? Some opened again this week, but water use is still somewhat restricted, and at least one pool (Ellis) is done for the year, perhaps longer.

Go to the Science Station? Not any time soon. Ditto for the Public Library, though the Westdale branch will be busier than ever in coming weeks. Feed the ducks at Ellis Park? See the pool comment above.

There will be more instances like this, when we’ll think to do something, only to be reminded that we can’t, because the flood has changed it. For a while. A LONG while.

It’s still hard to fully process what’s happened. And the impact, for us, personally, has been so minimal compared to what we see around us. I cannot fathom what folks in the flood zones are experiencing. I can see it, but can’t feel it. How incredibly lucky we are.

We’re trying to minimize the impact on our kids. But they see, and hear, and they ask questions. We don’t have all the answers for them. But my hope is that they’ll end up seeing a Cedar Rapids that’s better than ever, on the other side.

Getting to the other side — that’ll happen. Someday.

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Washed out

Spc. Scott Wheat runs to the aid of Cedar Rapids Firefighter Brent Smith (left) and Sgt. Brandon Adams (right) as they carry Louie Moran of Cedar Rapids to safety on First Ave W. after being rescued from his home at 814 Third Ave. NE in Cedar Rapids on Thursday evening, June 12, 2008.“Hi, I’m Richard Pratt, and I’m from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.”

Sorry to borrow a line from Masters champion Zach Johnson, but being from Cedar Rapids probably says a lot about where we stand right now.

It’s been a horrible week — and not even so much for me.

Here’s just ONE STORY that should tell you what has come upon our river city.

The worst part for me — I’ve been taken out of the loop, in essence, as a dad as we’ve worked untold numbers of hours here at the paper. But so many people have it so, so, so much worse.

God bless and keep us. This will test us to the core.

I’ll write more later. But not sure when. This monumental catastrophe has thrown us for a loop that’ll take time to close.

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