Monday, June 8, 2009

Preventing another great flood

This week marks the anniversary of the great flood of 2008. Cities from Mason City to Burlington along every river inbetween, remembers the water all too well.

Now, it is time to look back and see how people are doing a year later.

I helped a good friend move last week in Iowa City. I had not been in town in the daylight in quite some time. I was amazed at how many buildings along the Iowa River are still vacant and likely won’t be coming back in their current state. Several businesses on the Coralville strip are back, but its been a slow climb back to being above water. But several shops are still closed a year later.

I’ve been to Cedar Rapids a few times in the last year and there’s still work to be done there. House after house in an area south and west of downtown still has debris in the streets and homes are abandoned. Some still have part of a foundation left, but likely, not for long.

I still don’t think many people outside the flood zones have any idea how bad it really is in several parts of our state. I know many people saw the pictures during this week of June, 2008, but haven’t given it much thought since. That’s a shame. People are still hurting and are not back in their homes.

Our last Iowa Journal of the 2008-09 season aired last week. Producer Nancy Crowfoot looked at the flood issue from several angles. The official description is this:

“From climate change to agricultural practices to urban sprawl, there is plenty of blame to go around for the cause of the 2008 floods. The Iowa Journal explores the "blame" and what can be done to help mitigate future floods.”

We hit several areas of the state from Waukon to Waverly, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Wapello and Louisa County.

You can view the Iowa Journal online here.

Here’s one review of our program.

"Thank you for a very good program. It was balanced, it was based on reality and science, and it focused on people who know what they are talking about. And it dared to raise the overdue question of mandatory land-use regulations and the uncomfortable but has-to-be-faced fact that Iowa is behind the times in regard to watershed thinking. It should be required viewing for every state legislator. Thanks again!!"

So take a little time this week to see what you and I can do to make a difference. It is not going to be easy and this is something we all need to take stock in for ourselves.

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