Frilly Flood Casualties at Coe College

This is not the most shocking picture of flood damage in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but it somehow seems the most fitting as an illustration of the havoc the floodwaters wreaked on my alma mater, Coe College. It is one from a large set of pictures taken by Lonnie Zingula, Coe’s PR guy. He’s got some pretty amazing shots. In case you can’t tell, the picture above is a load of lovely underthings left washed up in one of the college’s parking lots.

I’ve been getting updates all week from my friends who are still in the area, and the tales they’re telling are pretty amazing. Coe sits way up on top of a hill, yet it’s still swamped.

You’d think having a new lake out front would somehow make the place look more elegant, but you’d be wrong. Something to do with the out-of-place road signs and piles of debris. The Cedar River never did have a reputation for being especially pristine (some of my friends in the biology program spent a lot of time testing that water for contaminants, in fact) and I know flooding is a huge invitation for diseases and health problems anyway. How awful.

And now that the water is finally, thankfully, going down, there’s going to be a lot of cleanup work to do. I can’t go out and help, but I wish everyone out there the very best. I’m thinking about you! And if ever there was a better excuse to go out and buy new lacy underwear, I can’t imagine what it would be.

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