Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mandatory evacuation for Iowa, includes hospital--

Images of the state reminiscent of Katrina

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — They said this city would never flood. They talked about 1993, and 1966 and 1851, years when the Cedar River swelled and hissed but mostly stayed within its banks. They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

Days after it swamped Cedar Rapids and forced thousands of people out of their homes, the Cedar River has begun falling. But the misery will stretch on for days.

Officials guess it will be four days before the Cedar River drops enough for workers to even begin pumping out water that has submerged more than 400 blocks, threatened the city's drinking supply and forced the evacuation of a downtown hospital.

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