Recovering. I did not say Recovered.
All strong words. All strong statements. All true when it comes to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids is the 2nd largest city in Iowa and gets its name from the Cedar River that runs through the heart of downtown. On June 13, 2008, the Cedar River became the Cedar Ocean to 100% of the population living downtown. The city’s core was virtually destroyed that week. The flood waters hit an astounding 31 feet, 19 feet above flood stage, and shattered the former high crest by over 11 feet! Suddenly, there were no more music venues, no more arts district, no more museums, no more restaurants, no more government offices, no more police station, no more central fire station, no more ground transportation hub and for 18,000 residents, no more homes. None. Nada. Gone. Drowned. Amazingly, no one perished. Can you imagine the city you live in, the city you thrive in one day, virtually washed away the next? Actually, a worse case weather scenario has happened to only one other U.S. city – New Orleans, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Fast forward to 2012. July 4, 2012 and just over 4 years since total devastation became the city’s 6th season (Cedar Rapids refers to itself as the City of 5 Seasons). The city is proud of its Freedom Festival celebration which begins in mid-June and culminates with a July 4 freedom party. The party is back downtown where it belongs.
I managed to get a great spot along the Cedar River this day to capture some images from the Freedom Festival fireworks. I hope you enjoy these. Be thankful for what you have. Be thankful for those that persevere through the darkest of times. What God allows to be taken away, God provides a thousand times more.
In the 12 months following the great flood of 2008 a lot of money was raised to aid in the rebuilding. However, Cedar Rapids needs more funds. The city is proud to boast several famous sports figures and celebrities as their own, including Super Bowl Champion quarterback Kurt Warner, Masters Champion Zach Johnson and actor Ashton Kutcher just to name a few. All three of these men have played a big role in the fundraising efforts. Unfortunately, more needs to be done. It is quite possible that even though this flood might be thought of as a freak of nature and surpassed the 500-year flood plane, walls and levees being designed to prevent this catastrophe from ever happening again will not be completed until 2024.
For more information, please go to http://www.cedarrapidsfloodstory.com/statistics/. The people of Cedar Rapids appreciate your support.