by idiosynchronic | 6/09/2008 10:50:00 AM
1993 was 15 years ago. We have been living in its shadow all spring. Three times, the Skunk River has risen into flood stage this spring and early summer. This last time it inundated the football field, golf course, and city park in my little town. But so far it's been a mild annoyance for most - those whom aren't bailing out their house.
In 2 days, we shall see if the planning and money spent in the intervening years since '93 is enough to stem the hell that Iowa was sacked with in that horrid Summer. The rivers in Central Iowa will crest Tuesday morning. 1993's greatest component was the freak rain 6" surge that occurred at the same time as the flood waters arrived in Des Moines, Iowa City, and the rest of central and southern Iowa.
The current weather forecast is bipolar - the National Weather Service is predicting rains in central Iowa starting Tuesday night while Weather.com predicts 'an afternoon shower' Wednesday. The other meteorologists all fall in between.
If Iowa escapes, which seems likely at this time, those communities downstream of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers will be in flooding danger over the next few days and weeks.
The Iowa damage has already occurred however - As you read this, 30,000 people are cut off and without water and electrical power in Mason City. As this dailyKos diary notes, "Bush is about to lose another city." Our National Guard is depleted in manpower and equipment. FEMA isn't even being talked about.
Most of the damage has already been done - the corn & soybean crops are ruined. The current prediction is somewhere between 30-50% has been lost because of flooding. Most of the fields in my rural area have some amount of standing water in them, water that has already killed the seedlings and now just waits for a week of sunny days and winds to make them finally go away. Meanwhile, they become breeding pools for mosquitoes.
Food prices worldwide have already been rocketing upwards. But the screw just got tightened another full turn.