From my Hawkeye Newsletter we read:
To University of Iowa Alumni, Friends, Contributors, and Hawkeye Fans across the world:
Your University is facing what may be the greatest challenge in its 160-year history. Many people have contacted us asking us how they can help, and in response we’re offering a way to do so from wherever you may be.
Unprecedented flooding throughout Eastern Iowa has already impacted our entire arts campus and much more — including beloved landmarks such as the Iowa Memorial Union, the UI Museum of Art, our music and theatre buildings, and Hancher Auditorium. Although it appears the flooding on campus has crested, the high water will still inflict significant damage to the more than 16 UI buildings that took on water. The Iowa River is slowly receding, but it will take months and years for the campus to fully recover.
You can help by making a gift online today to the UI Flood Relief Fund. Please go online to http://www.givetoiowa.org/floodfund to lend your support. Gifts of all sizes are needed and appreciated, and our first priority is to assist UI students and employees who have been displaced from their homes by the flooding. After addressing these most immediate human concerns, we will use contributions to the fund (as available) at my discretion to address other areas of flood-related need throughout the campus.
I encourage the UI community and Iowans generally to help –- whether through volunteering or other sharing of resources –- as they can with the relief efforts for those parts of the state most affected by the flooding. A good place to start in assisting our friends in Johnson and Linn Counties is by visiting www.corridorrecovery.org.
The University of Iowa community has always been far larger than our physical campus, and the Hawkeye spirit has overcome many challenges in the past. I am confident this University will emerge stronger than ever before. UI students, faculty, staff, and community members showed tremendous teamwork and resolve in last week’s massive sandbagging efforts. If you’d like to join them in helping us rise above this crisis, please visit http://www.givetoiowa.org/floodfund.
Our heartfelt thanks for all of your encouragement, and for your ongoing generosity.
The University of Iowa
P.S. For the most up-to-date information on the UI and the Flood of 2008, and for a large gallery of photos, visit the University’s flood information web site at http://uiflood.blogspot.com/.
From American Library Association President Lorriene Roy
June 19, 2008 – Flood damage to Iowa Libraries
The Main Library at the University of Iowa had water in its basement,but neither the building nor any of the collections were damaged. The building is still closed, however, due to problems with electricity and air conditioning across the campus. Both the Music Library and the Art Library are in buildings which were inundated by the flood waters. The extent of the damage to the libraries is not yet known.
The following information was received by the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s board, foundation and Friends group: The damage to the CRPL is being assessed. A professional "recovery team" has already conducted
a walk-through. It’s estimated that the water rose approximately five feet up the first floor. The book shelves are intact and not all were completely under water. However, we are not optimistic about saving anything on the first floor. The humidity, muck, and air quality are taking their toll.
The Zerzanek collection of original children’s book illustrations is safe and has been moved to another location. Friends were able to move donated used books to the upper floors of their storage facility. They are assessing the condition of the books and discussing 2008 book and media sales.
If you want to volunteer, please mail us your contact information (address, e-mail & phone) to address below. Other than members of professional recovery teams, no one is being allowed in the building at present. It’s not a healthy environment. We hope to mobilize volunteers eventually.
If you want to make a donation, mail your contribution to the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation. All donations are tax deductible-and needed! Mail to 500 1st St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401. Mail is
delivered to our West Side Branch.
Many other libraries in the midwest have been devastated beyond the flooding. We hear news that 2 schools were destroyed in Kansas City by tornadoes. I’m waiting for more info from Sharon Coatney on this.
Parkersburg lost over half the town in Iowa due to tornadoes. I haven’t heard an update on the school & library.
Nearly two weeks ago my group drove through St. Louis, to Hannibal, and up the Avenue of the Saints through my alma mater University of Iowa, and north through Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Cedar Falls on to MN. We enoyed the beautiful 13 hour drive noting the rivers were very high, fields were saturated, and crops were not as high as they usually are. Returning from MN we couldn’t take the same route because the flooding had closed roads, surrounded cities, and was devastating the people of Iowa. We called trucker friends, AAA bus drivers, friends and searched online for a route home and were advised to drive through the Wisconsin Dells and Madison.
Driving became a problem in Mausmont, WI, NW of the Wisconsin Dells when we discovered nearly all roads and 3 interstates had been closed due to flooding. You probably saw the news footage of the lake that drained and the roads that were washed away. All trucks pulled over and turned off as they prepared to wait at least a day before the interstates reopened. County roads were jammed. I started calling friends with internet & driver connections. It began to look like YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE.
We pulled in for a pitstop and I chatted with the attendees while looking at maps. When I showed her my proposed route, she gestured to a passing cop and said it had just been flooded out and they were on their way to close it. She said rumor was there was only one road south open and we’d better hurry before they closed it, too. We ran for the van and got on the road. There were 2-3 trucks and a few cars taking that route so we hoped we were in the group that was going to get through. I was SOOOO happy to see Madison, WI, then Illinois. If you have ever driven from the north central to the very southern tip of Illinois, you can understand how happy we were to see Paducah, Kentucky then on to Clarksville, TN.
Watching the news footage and Youtube videos, I am still amazed at how those dry places we traveled through were submerged and devastated. I’ll try to pass along the news from my UI alumni newsletters, ALA Council info, ALA President Roy’s notes, and more to keep you updated. Now that the flood waters are receding, these libraries and people need our help.
Several people have asked how my family in Northwest Iowa are. They are doing well. The tornadoes touched down 4 miles west and then later 5 miles north of their home so they were spared. They are mourning the boy scouts at the camp not far away.