Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cedar Rapids today


is what is heading downstream towards us.

The spillway at Coralville Reservoir.

I'd like to write

something profound and touching about spending 6 hours sandbagging in Oakville today, only to get home and find out that the levee had been breached.

I'd like to, but my hands and wrists hurt so damned badly, I can't.

Tomorrow, then...

A levee along the Iowa River has broken, flooding the small town of Oakville in southeast Iowa.State emergency operations spokeswoman Tamie Krausman says the levee broke about 4:10 p.m. Thursday. The town of about 400 people was being evacuated. Krausman said no injuries were reported.

Authorities have ordered residents who live on the river side of Highway 99 from their homes in both Louisa and Des Moinescounties. National Guard troops have been summoned for security.

****The river stage at 5 p.m. in Columbus Junction was 31.9 feet. A crest just over 35 feet is expected Monday. In Wapello, the river was at 32.5 feet. A crest of 36.1 feet is expected Monday.Heavy rain was falling this afternoon, though, upriver over Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.

Friday, June 13, 2008


bali_36, originally uploaded by pretonero.


I drove three hours to help move some of my family’s stuff, because it’s gone if the levee breaks. We can pretend everything is going to be OK, but we look at the river stage forecasts and become more certain each day something ugly is about to happen.

I remember a fellow in this river town once saying, “The water goes where it wants to go, and there’s not a hell of a lot you can do to stop it.” But people, many of whom live on high ground, pitch in, bless them. They show up with shovels to fill and lug sand-bags, working for hours knowing it might not do a bit of good.

I mean, how do you control a river that wipes out a bridge lined with 20 railroad cars, all of them loaded with rocks? The idea was for the weight to give added strength and stability to the bridge. The train and the bridge in Cedar Rapids never had a chance. The whole works went into the Cedar River.

By noon Thursday, 100 city blocks of Cedar Rapids were under water, along with thousands of people’s homes.


The Coralville dam is releasing 20,000 cubic feet of water per second into the Iowa River. It’s heading through the heart of Iowa City and points south. The Cedar Rapids Gazette quoted an expert of some sort who said that at that rate, the water would fill an enclosed Kinnick Stadium in 16 minutes and 42 seconds. Ponder that when you think about the fact that around 40,000 cubic feet of water a second is coming down the Des Moines River from the Saylorville dam into Des Moines.

That presumably would fill the Hawkeye stadium in 8 minutes and 21 seconds.Another expert — there are a lot of experts around these days — said the comparatively small Cedar River is now flowing at a volume equal to the Mississippi River when the Mississippi is at flood stage. Gives some perspective, doesn’t it?


At this point, there’s nothing left to do but wait.

At any point

this week, next week, whatever... I would be thrilled to look up at the sky and not have my initial reaction be


Seriously. At any point.

Luskentyre Beach, Seilebost , Isle of Harris

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Feeling a bit nostalgic, really...

Carlito and Petey

This is more awesome than I can handle


Poor kitties. Poor man.


Random ten

on the new Nano. *pets it*

1. Posh Boys- The View
2. The Time Has Come Again- Last Shadow Puppets
3. Balaclava- Arctic Monkeys
4. Life Got Cold- Girls Aloud
5. You Like Me Too Much- The Beatles
6. Run For Your Life- The Beatles
7. Ovary Stripe- Kasabian
8. Delayed Devotion- Duffy
9. She Will Be Loved- Maroon 5
10. Folding Stars- Biffy Clyro

11. You Love Us- Manic Street Preachers
12. Sedative- Babyshambles

Stormy weather

So, yeah. Been a bit exciting here, weather-wise in the last 24 hours.

My dad's been down sandbagging for the past three days at Oakville. He's now saying that it's not "if" but "when" the levee is breached. And this is before we got about an inch of rain this evening.

We've been watching a steady stream of grain trucks emerge from the road to the river bottoms. Can't let the grain get flooded out. With the current price of corn? Fuggedaboutit.

Also, the amount of semis bearing livestock is simply amazing. Most animals can swim, but not in flood water. Poor things.

Annnnnd, we had tornado warnings tonight. I was home alone, and managed to scare poor QB (out for cocktails with the girls) to death with texts like-

I'm in the basement with Holden. Funnel cloud just went overhead.

The main problem is, as I've stated before, we live where the Iowa River drains into the Mississippi (which really isn't that bad). However, the Iowa has several rivers that drain into it, and they've all experienced massive amounts of rain. Hence, the problem.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I have no words,

only incoherent sounds. Damn, I have to go lie down now.

(items giving me heart failure are in red)

The lineup for the Guardian's intimate Lounge tent at this year's Glastonbury festival has been confirmed today, with Kasabian, Estelle and Los Campesinos! all set to make an appearance.

The lounge, which will this year have an intimate "old mansion" theme, is set to host DJ sets from Hercules and the Love Affair and Guilty Pleasures. There will also be performances from Glastonbury stalwart Billy Bragg, Swedish pop star Annie, and Helsinki, the new side project from Babyshambles' bassist Drew McConnell.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Okay, so it's not re-inventing the wheel

but somebody needs to make dumb, perfect pop songs to shake your ass to.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fratellis...

At times like these,

I think, "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if the majority of the Iowa National Guard was in, you know, IOWA, instead of fucking Iraq?

Washburn, near Waterloo, evacuated after levee breaks

Columbus Junction residents wait, and worry

Flooding Cedar River damages hundreds of homes Charles City

Officials: Flood of 2008 to be worse than Flood of '93

Also, we've just gotten the news that Highway 61 will be closed north of Wapello as of tomorrow night. River is too high- can't guarantee the bridge will hold.

Annnnd, I just got off the phone with my dad. They're evacuating the Iowa/Mississippi river bottoms. He and my uncles are helping some elderly friends move to higher ground.

This is the problem they're dealing with- between Hwy. 99 and the Iowa River in Louisa County, and Hwy. 99 and the Mississippi River in Des Moines county- the land between is all reclaimed from the river some 100 years ago (the rivers join up at New Boston).

Yes, how Dutch of my forefathers. The farming ground is incredibly fertile, but really, really, really farcking vulnerable to flooding.

Again, when it flooded so badly in 1993, the National Guard was down on the bottoms, sandbagging. But not now. We're on our own.

Isn't this a lovely little war?

Monday, June 09, 2008

My Preeeeeeeeecious

As a reward to myself for getting my lazy arse moving, I ordered this today.

Come to mama, sweet little Nano.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Foo Zeppelin!

Ahhh, I love it when my rock boys get all fanboy...

But the whole night was set up for the encore. After leaving the stage following 'Monkey Wrench', a clearly emotional Grohl returned to declare, "playing Wembley Stadium is an honour, and if we didn’t take advantage of this opportunity, the greatest fucking night in our band’s lives… for all 86,000 of you motherfuckers, it isn’t gonna be any other show."

The rock legends then joined the Foos for the historic encore. At the end of their stint, Jimmy Page visibly clung on to his guitar after a member of the road crew ran onstage to relieve him of it. The members of the makeshift band then posed arm to arm.

As Page and Jones left the stage before a final encore of 'Best Of You', an ecstatic Grohl shouted "welcome to the greatest fucking day of my life!" The night ended with an extravagant firework display.