The Flood of 1993
It was inevitable that this was going to sprout up as a throwback entry. There were just too many parallels to what we are currently experiencing here in central Iowa for me to avoid it. The media has already played the angle to death, but I just had to chime in with my personal recollections of what it was like during those damp times.
The most memorable thing about that particular timeframe was it was my graduation year at Iowa State. I had just graduated from there earlier that May and the flood hit in July. The Ames as I remembered it was looking drastically different. Hilton Coliseum, where my graduation ceremonies were held just months prior, was submerged in water. Not completely, yet enough so that the lower level was at least knee deep.
There were scenes on the news of college students floating down streets around Hilton in rowboats, canoes and whatnot. Even the married housing apartments where I used to live had so much water damage that the playgrounds, basketball court and shelter were all completely covered with the rising flood. It seemed so surreal. I would have never thought there could ever been enough rainwater to engulf that area like that. Then again, I wasn't an engineering major so what did I know?
Des Moines had much more serious problems than just a building or two being swallowed. Around the middle of July, the Raccoon River had flooded the Des Moines Water Works treatment facility. That meant the plant had to be powered down and folks had no running water. They went over a week with no running water. Mom and Dad were still living in Des Moines at the time and needless to say, like everyone else, they were not happy campers.
I had already relocated to Cedar Rapids at that time. We didn't have near any of the issues that central Iowa was having. We were far enough from the Mississippi to avoid all of the Quad Cities' water problems and definitely far enough away from the Raccoon River to suffer any consequences. We had the fortune of being able to just view witness accounts on the news.
Years later, there still remained signs everywhere of the flood's aftermath. The Target on Euclid used to have a plaque on their wall about 4-feet off the ground that read "The flood of 1993 was here". They eventually re-opened even though they closed down for good last year. At least they made it for a little bit. Several business never recovered. Many homes never did. So when folks try to draw comparisons of this year's event to that happening in 1993, they should consider themselves lucky this year isn't near as bad.