Thousands Flee Floods in Midwest
Several Midwestern states, including Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois, have been hit hard by floods this week as rivers rose far beyond their normal levels. In Cedar Rivers, Iowa, a whole hospital had been evacuated, thousands of residents had fled their homes and over 400 city blocks were under water by Friday.
AP via Breitbart.com:
Cedar Rapids was the hardest-hit city in Iowa, where Gov. Chet Culver declared 83 of the state’s 99 counties as state disaster areas and nine rivers were at or above historic flood levels. Elsewhere in the upper Midwest, rivers and streams tipping their banks forced evacuations, closed roads, and even threatened drinking water.
The hospital’s 176 patients, including about 30 patients in a nursing home facility at the hospital, were being evacuated to other hospitals in the region. The evacuation started late Thursday night and continued Friday morning in the city of 124,000 residents.
“Some are frail and so it’s a very delicate process with them,” said Karen Vander Sanden, a hospital spokeswoman.
Water was seeping into the hospital’s lower levels, where the emergency generator is located, said Dustin Hinrichs of the Linn County emergency operations center.
“They proactively and preventatively started evacuation basically guessing on the fact they were going to lose power,” he said.
Dave Koch, a spokesman for the Cedar Rapids fire department, said the river will crest Friday at about 31.8 feet. It was at 30.9 feet early in the morning. In a 1993 flood, considered the worst flood in recent history, it was at 19.27 feet.