Saturday, August 6, 2011

Follow Up to Missouri River Flooding Post

I wanted to post a follow up to my earlier post so that readers can better understand the mind-boggling magnitude of this event. Here is a gallery of pictures of the flooding:

It is truly huge and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that hundreds of thousands of people have been adversely affected. The victims are generally not wealthy people with expensive riverfront properties, whining because they don't have flood insurance. Many, if not most, are rural or lower middle class working people who live in small homes or even trailer parks. The businesses are not big box retailers but convenience stores and restaurants located near the river or interstate, who struggle in the best of times. In addition, many of the locations are not considered to be in the Missouri River flood plain, but as in the case of my family members, miles from the river itself.

I personally know two families that have been driven from their homes since June. My afore-mentioned relatives are living in a travel trailer for the foreseeable future. They, along with their neighbors, spent their own money to build a temporarly levee around their houses, and moved nearly all of their belongings into storage for the duration of the flood. So far their homes are dry but are still threatened and considered too dangerous to occupy. The other family, fortunately, has not seen their home inundated, but their access road is underwater, and they are renting a place to live in until they can return.

These are just two examples out of thousands. Some of those impacted have stayed in their houses, although their basements are full of water and mold. Council Bluffs in particular is home to many poor working-class people who are being severely stressed by the flooding.

It is difficult to understand why this story has not become prominent in the national media given its scope and the amount of money it is costing ordinary families.

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