By The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Mother Nature has a way of straightening herself out —- sometimes at our expense.
After a year of severe drought, we go through one of the wettest months of May in local history. While it did not approach the record flood levels of 2008 in most cases, there was a human cost.
People were forced from their homes. Basements were flooded. And, unlike the 2008 flood, this round did result in the loss of life — a 71-year-old Ackley man who was swept away in his vehicle near Parkersburg.
Not to mention the solid week of dreary skies and endless trudging through wet grounds, ponded sidewalks — and squishy shoes. And, finding maybe one dry afternoon to mow the lawn to stay ahead of the downpours and not have to uses a machete later. And in the case of farmers, finding a dry spell to get some planting in with reasonable expectations the work won’t wash away.
Now comes the cleanup — wash away the mud, wet-vac out the basements, check for structural damage, sawing up downed limbs, and working with insurance adjusters.
We’re up to the task. We’ve been through this before.
We have a number of local heroes out of all this:
—The people of New Hartford, who valiantly fought repeated waves of high water in safeguarding their community.
— The public safety personnel who rescued Hudson residents along Watters Road when Black Hawk Creek rose three to four feet in one morning.
— Everyday citizens and just plain good neighbors, like the Janesville residents who helped boat residents out of a mobile home park surrounded by floodwater so they could make it to work.
— Planners and organizers of events like the annual My Waterloo Days Celebration, who sucked it and strove mightily to keep everyone’s spirits up and continue on with the festivities to the best of their abilities.
— People who turned out in spite of the onset of cold rainy weather on Memorial Day weekend to pay tribute to those departed who served our country in the military, whether it was to fight a war or preserve the peace.
-– Emergency management personnel who stood ready to provide food and temporary shelter for those who needing it.
—Municipal and county public works employees who manned pumps, worked long hours and now face the task of shoring up or rebuilding flood damaged roads and cleaning up parks so for public use again.
We who live in Iowa and the upper Midwest know it’s not going to be 80 and sunny every day in life. But, as a whole, we’re going to make the best of life in whatever circumstance, because this is our home and our most valued possession, ultimately, is each other. If we keep open minds and open hearts, family, friends and faith can carry us a long way.