You can hardly have missed the images on television. Floods — and tornadoes — are devastating a broad section of the American heartland.
We’ve seen entire houses ripped off their foundations and floating down rivers. A Boy Scout camp was hit by a tornado, putting leadership and survival skills to a serious real-world test. Some 24,000 residents of Cedar Rapids, a city of 120,000, were forced from their homes. A levee broke in Des Moines driving hundreds from their homes. A levee on the Illinois side of the mighty Mississippi has broken, and dozens more are in danger.
It just might be that the worst is yet to come.
Fortunately solid Midwesterners, many of whom survived the record floods of 1993, seem to take even disaster in their stride. Neighbors have helped neighbors and some clean-up has already begun in places where the floodwaters finally began to subside.
Floods in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin put a terrific hit on the local economies. In Missouri, it might be just the beginning. People are already talking about economic losses approaching the $20 billion lost in 1993. Some homes and businesses may be lost forever.
The Red Cross has been helping people since the floods began and estimates it will have to spend some $15 million of its disaster relief funds.
But the national Red Cross has announced that its disaster relief funds are depleted and it is operating on borrowed money. Donate online at www.redcross.org.