As residents of Central Iowa (well, two of us are, anyway), we've spent a good amount of time this summer either staring at radars or just out our windows, watching storm after storm hit the area. It has been the wettest year to date on record in Des Moines--worse than 1993 and 2008--but amazingly, we've escaped the major flooding problems that usually accompany such heavy precipitation.
Well, escaped up until yesterday and today, that is; after several days of absolutely torrential overnight storms in central and northern Iowa, flood waters have struck Ames and Iowa State's athletic complex. Squaw Creek is currently 9 feet over flood stage, and the Skunk River is 6 feet over (and rising). For places in the Squaw Creek floodplain like Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium, that is pure disaster. The Register has an overhead shot of the Hilton area, and it's really just Hilton sitting in the middle of a sea. And sure enough, that water table is wreaking havoc on the interior of Hilton. Per the Register:
Shortly after reaching Hilton Coliseum, it didn’t take long for Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly to see the basketball floor amid what he estimated to be 8 feet of water.
"It was floating," Fennelly told Des Moines Register sports writer Randy Peterson. "It’s really bad what’s happening; it’s sad.
"This is my 16th year in Ames. I can easily say that it’s the worst flooding I’ve ever seen."
Obviously, for us Hawkeye fans, the scene is a little too reminiscent of the devastation unleashed on Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Coralville last year. And while there aren't the haunting blocks of abandoned homes like in Cedar Rapids or the jarring pictures of the Vine underwater like in Iowa City, this isn't exactly a competition.
Football practice is on today for the Cyclones, even as the football players have been have been sand-bagging since 6:30. We hope their efforts are successful and met with dry skies, and that Ames and the Iowa State community get through this as quickly as possible.