Sunday, June 15, 2008

Iowa's Bad Feng Shui Persists

Wind and water continue to assault Iowa, the Hawkeye state, the land between the rivers, the lakeland in the river. Reviewing video of the May 25 tornado in Parkersburg, I think the best records were those made by closed circuit television. There was this one, which shows the wind tearing apart a house in a manner reminiscent of a nuclear test blast:

There was another set of videos from inside the bank (First State Bank), which show what it is like to share a room with an EF5 tornado. And you thought your roommate (or work-mate) was messy, wasteful, and temperamental.

I am also monitoring the newest floods on the Cedar River, Iowa River, Shell Rock River, and other rivers from afar. I have been getting some firsthand accounts and pictures, which are very relevant but limited. For its broadly collected content, YouTube is a little better than the news sites in some ways. I can see videos minutes after they are uploaded and be among the first 5 or 10 people to see them. The Des Moines Register,,, Chicago Tribune, Iowa City Press-Citizen, Daily Iowan, and Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune have done some good reporting on it, but from what little I can tell, it doesn't seem to be getting as much national or international attention as one might expect. Perhaps there is only so much interest and empathy until something breaks through to a Katrina level of apocalypse. Perhaps it is only incredible to me because I know the area I am looking at. Or maybe I am just one of a small minority of people who seek to get a better grasp of reality by seeing its extremes, what happens when it is stretched and twisted. It could be that reporters just naturally cannot get in to the areas they need to to report as well as YouTube users can. However, at the moment, the story has risen to the top of Google News.

I shouldn't make promises, but I will have a little more to say about this at a future time.

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