CR flood, downtown, Tuesday

Yesterday I explored downtown for the first time since Thursday. (That day, my hip waders weren't high enough to keep the water out. Yesterday, I was ankle-deep in flood muck at times, but I was dry and relatively clean, compared to some of the workers.)

An Uncle Sam incarnation of American Gothic stands guard over the Freedom Festival office as water pumps in the street empty out basements.

The Paramount's Wurlitzer organ was toppled over in the flood, and the orchestra pit cover lifted onto the buckled stage. The percussion instruments managed to be moved to higher ground before the flood, but the organ wasn't so lucky. This is a local treasure that I'm sure many people hope will be salvaged and restored. (Also: theatres lit with a single open door become even more dramatic in photographs.)

City Hall seems to have escaped major damage, and the Grant Wood stained glass (another local treasure) is intact.

This tablecloth from Zins reminds me of learning how to print in the darkroom in high school.. we could place object on the paper and expose the paper to light, leaving white spaces where the objects were. In this case, the silverware and napkin left their mark as the mud settled around them.

The king at Little King Deli helpfully points out the high water mark on the side of the restaurant. It's well above my head.

The Piano Lounge hopes to salvage some of their steel furniture. Barstools were lined up along the street to dry.

Down in the lounge, which is in a basement, employees and volunteers were wading through the muck (a mixture of liquor, ceiling tiles and floodwater, I'm guessing) to remove the furniture.


  1. Karen Ponder2:17 PM CDT

    Liz, Even though it's been 30 years since I have been to Cedar Rapids it is heart breaking to see the devastation. You are doing are wonderful job capturing these events so those of elsewhere can see first hand the havoc nature can produce.

  2. Liz, these images are over the top. Very well done. Oh I wanna see a portrait of you in those waiters. ;)

  3. Liz,
    My mother in law is friends with your mother - that is how I found your blog. You take amazing pictures. The one with the organ is breathtaking. I heard some of your work will be in the NYTimes. Congratulations and keep up the great work. I look forward to checking back with you.

    Becky Ketcherside