If you live in Iowa, then I bet you are familiar with the devastating floods of 2008. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is located in the eastern part of the state, was especially hard hit; many of the local museums and historic sites were all but destroyed.
My husband moved to Iowa the day Interstate 80 reopened and I moved out five months later, so we missed the wrath of the storms (and Des Moines was not hit nearly as hard as Cedar Rapids). But, even 2 1/2 years later, flood recovery is a daily event for many folks in the region.
I recently spent the day at Ushers Ferry Historical Village, one such site devastated by the flood. I visited thanks to the State Historical Society of Iowa‘s HRDP Program (you may remember me blogging about the program here.) After touring the grounds and hearing about how their log home was completely washed away, how historic structures simply floated off their foundations and how the staff wasn’t allowed to return to the site for months afterward (not even to pick up the artifacts that were strewn across the grounds), I saw the amazing work this group has done to revitalize the village.
They haven’t re-opened to the public yet, but with their hard work and determination I know it’s only a matter of time.
As we see the devastation in Japan, it’s scary to remember that Mother Nature also strikes close to home (although, let’s be honest, the tsunami footage is absolutely terrifying). I highly recommend watching Ushers Ferry’s PowerPoint presentation, available here, so you can fully understand what the floods did – and what the team is doing to restore it.
Amazing! Which reminds me, I should probably write about disaster plans one of these days…