Tag Archives: flood

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art Reopens with Flood Photography Exhibit

I had the opportunity to go to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art this week, just a week after it’s reopening from the flood.  Aptly, the museum’s first exhibit is The Year of the River: Flood Photography from The Gazette.  The moments captured are breathtaking.  The emotion they rekindle surprising.  We are months removed from the Flood of 2008, and although the people of the corridor have moved on to recovery, it’s important to look back and remember just how extraordinary the event truly was.

I was lucky enough to explore this exhibit with people not from Cedar Rapids, many whom aren’t even from the Midwest.  I’d seen many of the pictures before, I’d witnessed the flooding in person, and these photographs still took my breath away.  To see their reaction was truly a privilege.  They had all heard of the flood, and had sent their thoughts and prayers in our time of need.  But as they walked the halls of the museum they were in awe of what we had experienced.  They also had toured some of our flood-savaged areas and expressed amazement at far we have come, and how quickly we reached where we are.

I was bursting with pride for my community, as I nodded in agreement as they spoke of our spirit and our determination to rebuild. 

I highly recommend visiting the museum and seeing this amazing exhibit. And if you have friends or family visiting from afar, take them and show them.  It will give you everyone who sees it a new appreciation, and a new perspective on just how reselient we are.

On a similar note, a colleague recently shared an emotional and information video on the flood produced by Metro Studios – if you have a moment, check it out.

posted by: heatherjoy77


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The Classics Replaced by a Celebration of Community Spirit

The Classics at Brucemore is a much-anticipated annual event. It’s described as magical. Enchanting.  It too was affected by the recent flooding, as the diaster created circumstances that required changes to the show.

Instead of canceling the show, Brucemore is partnering with local troops such as the Liar’s Theatre, SPT Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, Legion Arts and Urban Theatre Project of Iowa to show “Moving Home.”

There is no question our recent events have affected us in many ways.  We’ve laughed and cried and learned to depend on each other in a ways we never experienced before.  “Moving Home” is an original piece performed by local skilled storytellers who will share real, touching stories of our experience.

Join your fellow Corridians at Brucemore July 10-12  

All proceeds from the event will be donated to The Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation’s Flood relief Fund.

Gates open at 7 pm, bring a chair or blanket and prepare to be inspired.

posted by heatherjoy77

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What it takes to rebuild

As I sit at my high and dry computer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I continue to think about how lucky most of us were in the recent flood of 2008.

Yes. It was a record by a wide margin.

Thousands of people were evacuated. Homes were lost. A lot of ’em. Businesses were lost. A lot of them, and some won’t come back. Lives were disrupted.

Cedar Rapids lost its police HQ, main fire station, city hall, main public library. The county lost its offices, sheriff’s office and jail. Cedar Rapids lost one of its two hospitals. The list is too long to recount here.

The University of Iowa had water in 20 major buildings.

Recovery will take years. Some may never recover. 

At one point, seven radio stations were either off-air or operating with emergency facilities.

Folks from around the country have written or called. I asked them, “Did you see the pictures? It’s worse than that.”

However, we are very lucky. It could have been even worse. There were no lives lost in our immediate area attributable to the flooding. There were only two looters nabbed, so not much looting. Flooded areas were heavily patrolled.

The personal loss to some is incomprehensible. House. All personal property. Car. But they survived.

Cedar Rapids community leaders had the wisdom to talk to the folks in Grand Forks, North Dakota. You remember them. In 1997 they lost 80% of their downtown to flood and fire. They have seen the devastation and they have fought back.

Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City, Palo all have the spirit to rebuild. To recommit.

To paraphrase from “The Six Million Dollar Man” (1974), “A city barely alive. We can rebuild. We have the technology. We have the capability…”

Perhaps most important, we still have the spirit!

by: Eliot Keller, president and general manager of KZIA Radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Historic flooding, historic heartache

The city of Cedar Rapids has changed forever.  Time will now be recorded for this city based on events before the flood and after the flood.

This quote from Cedar Rapids’ City Manager in Tuesday’s Gazette really resonated with me.  I have been searching for ways to express what I’ve seen and felt, and have come up a bit lost for words.  I am one of the lucky few whose home and place of work were unharmed.  I have watched the devastation unfold from an arm’s length, but it’s still surprising when the emotions overtake you. 

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