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Iowa - report on Iowa City and travel conditions

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While the rest of us are able to worry about our summer vacation plans, my friend in Iowa City reports in on her situation -- which, fortunately, is a LOT better than many there and in other places like Cedar Rapids, etc.

"Yes, our house is high and dry. T. flew to New Orleans [for a meeting] on 6/13, and I set out at noon to drive up to my mother's house [NW Michigan]. It took me six hours to get to Davenport (50 miles east of Iowa City). I got turned back from my first two attempts to cross the Cedar River, finally had to go up I-380 through Cedar Rapids to Waterloo, east on 20 to Dubuque, then down 61 to reconnect with I-80 at Davenport. I stopped just short of Chicago for the night. T. had no problem getting to the airport in the morning, but by the time I went up 380 the traffic was so heavy that I went for an hour without getting out of first gear. 380 through Cedar Rapids is very high, but I could see all the flooding in the downtown area. What a mess. That evening, 380 south of CR was closed, so now the official detour between Iowa City and the Cedar Rapids airport involves a 280 mile drive via Waterloo and DesMoines! City Park and Dubuque Street down the hill from us have been flooded for a couple of weeks now.

"I'm sure things will be messed up for weeks to come. Cedar Rapids was flooded by the Cedar River, which has begun to go down. Iowa City was flooded by the Iowa River, which is dammed just north of us. So, we have to wait until the entire reservoir empties out. That is expected to be a much slower process. I sure hope I can get back by a more direct route. I'm sure there will be a lot of cleaning up to do. T’s building [at the Univ.], and the whole hospital, are on high ground, fortunately."

For Des Moines Register pics: http://tinyurl.com/5urhhc
For article on road and cross-river closings: http://tinyurl.com/5jwc8w

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