I’m still getting reports trickling in from the homefront.
I’m going to give all the credit for these photos to the Iowa City Press Citizen. In fact, I still have some pals back there that took some of these shots. This is amazing stuff. I used to live right near some of these places.
The Dairy Queen! It’s completely gone! It was probably one of the most ghetto, little ice cream stands in Iowa City, but when you wanted to get a frosty blizzard on the way back to the radio station, you didn’t care. The bugs would chew at your skin while you waited in line, but you waited until those folks inside peered at you through the window screen to ask you what you wanted.
It just so happens that I asked a pastor of a local church about some ceiling repairs that needed to be done to his building. The conversation ended up giving me an ironic, recent education on how roofs are commonly built on churches. The huge hole in St. Patrick’s Church allows everything to make sense now.
The strange part is that I used to live in an apartment about a block away, the church being one of the first things you’d see when you walked out the back of the building. In time, you know they’ll rebuild. If they don’t, someone will swoop in and try to build an apartment complex there.
Life will go on. The devastation will settle, students will relocate, and the stories will fade over a period of years. In ’93, it was the flood waters getting into all sorts of buildings. Summer of ’97 had a storm take out a bunch of trees across campus.
The dollar amounts are starting to trickle in from the damages and lost belongings. I’m seeing amounts averaging above $10k. That doesn’t sound too horrible, but it makes me wonder about renter’s insurance. The whole time I lived there, I never owned it, and there were tons more who passed go on that as well. I got lucky. I’m really curious to hear the numbers of those with and without coverage.
The thing you have to realize is that when you grow up or live in Iowa, tornados become apart of everyday life. Hot and humid day? The chances of a good storm rolling through get high. Spring time has forever been synonomous with the beginning of the storm season more than the joyful return of warmth.
Schools start running tornado drills about April. I can still remember the ones we had at my elementary school. We’d all rush into the hallway of the first floor, get on our knees, and put our hands over our heads. If we did it poorly or messed around, we’d do it a few more times until the whole school did it right.
My thoughts really go out to everyone affected by this. Events like this will change your life when you go through it. I keep thinking that if I still lived in IC, I’d do my best to lend a hand with the clean up. There are no words to describe the feeling one gets when mother nature is unleashing hell all around you, but I’ll save that story for another time.