June 17, 2008


Waters rise anew in Iowa city that spurned higher ground (Susan Saulny, June 17, 2008, NY Times)

This is not the first time this tiny city in a valley of rolling hills 70 miles northeast of Des Moines has been mostly under water, as it is now, a soaking casualty of the swollen Iowa River, the Otter Creek and this endlessly wet spring.

In 1993, when floodwaters inundated Chelsea, population 297, and thousands of other communities across the Midwest, killing 50 people and damaging 50,000 homes in nine states, the people here, unlike those in most places, decided to think long and hard about moving the whole community to higher ground.

Despite the heartache involved, moving out of the floodplain in Tama County seemed like a good idea, and the city council voted to move as much of Chelsea as possible out of harm's way.

But the reality of the move proved much more contentious than the idea, and just a few homeowners ended up taking advantage of the federal aid available for relocation and buyouts.

Now here is Chelsea again, under about 6 feet, or 2 meters, of water at the lowest point, second-guessing everything but also staunchly defending its right to exist exactly where it wants to.

...since the victims aren't minority we can be honest and blame them for living in a flood zone.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at June 17, 2008 7:28 AM

Now here is Chelsea again, under about 6 feet, or 2 meters...

Once again those people at the NYT are trying to push the metric system on us.

Posted by: pchuck at June 17, 2008 10:40 AM

They've been pushing metrics since I was in grade school in the 40's. Didn't like then and don't like it now.

Posted by: erp at June 17, 2008 5:33 PM
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