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Fly High and Fast – Vol. I Chapter 5: Cedar Rapids, Iowa USA “The Floods of 2008”

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JJ Meehan
The Meehan Family

Cedar Rapids Iowa has been my home for the last 45 years.  I currently live in Marion, Iowa which is a suburb of Cedar Rapids on the northeast edge.  It is a metropolitan area of approximately 200,000 people.  Cedar Rapids is the home of several major businesses, e.g., Quaker Oats, and Rockwell Collins.  The area has a heritage of Czech, German and Irish families.  In fact it is the home of the National Czech Museum.   Rockwell Collins is a major producer of avionics and communications for Government and Aviation.  They are part of the team that developed the Boeing Dreamliner (787).  Quaker Oats has the largest cereal manufacturing plant in the world in Cedar Rapids.

The Eastern Iowa Airport is the main airport for Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the eastern part of Iowa.  It is a full service airport with good instrument approaches on the main runway (9 and 27).   The main roads into and out of Cedar Rapids are Interstate 380 which is part of the Avenue of the Saints that runs from St. Louis, Missouri to Minneapolis, Minnesota.   It also connects with Interstate 80 about 22 miles south in Iowa City Iowa.  Highway 30 which was initially called the “Lincoln Highway runs through Cedar Rapids.  US Highway 30 is one of the original coast to coast highways that connected Atlantic City, New Jersey with Astoria, Oregon.

The schools are some of the best in the United States.  Ashton Kutcher, actor, Zach Johnson, Golf Star and Kurt Warner, Football Star are three of the many famous people from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

I’ve traveled a lot and was born in Detroit, Michigan USA and raised on Army Camps through out the USA and Germany.   I’ve adopted the Cedar Rapids area as my home.  As my chosen home, Cedar Rapids offers me the services  to live the life I wish.  The metropolitan area is only 1 1/2 hours from Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis Milwaukee and Omaha by light plane.  The blogs (stories that will follow will detail my flights into and out of these cities.  The school system is fantastic and the people are friendly Midwesterners.    It is a great place to live with 3 area colleges (Kirkwood, Mt. Mercy and Coe), fantastic restaurants, and theaters.  It is the home of the minor league baseball team for the Los Angeles Angels – The Cedar Rapids Kernels.

On June 13th, 2008, Cedar Rapids was hit with a terrible flood.  It has been recorded as one of the 10 worst disasters in USA history.  The heart of the city was totally flooded.  Mercy Hospital had to evacuate.  20% of the homes in Cedar Rapids were flooded.  The following pictures will give you a little idea of the damage.



For all most 2 weeks after the floods the major roads were flooded and all materials and supplies had one route from the north into Cedar Rapids.  Traffic on Interstate 80 (East and West) was cut.  Traffic was re-routed to Dubuque and then west on US Highway 20.  Routes into and out of Cedar Rapids were increased by 200 miles from places like Chicago, Omaha, and St. Louis.

The city and the people are still rebuilding and will be for many years to come.  I have no doubt that the city and the area will be greater than ever but it will take time.  Cedar Rapids and Marion Iowa are my home and will be my home for the rest of my life.  With all the damage the area is still a wonderful place to live.  I hope you can visit at sometime in the future.

Enjoy more blogs on Flying at “FLY HIGH AND FAST”.


Written by jjmeehan13

February 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

Posted in Flying

2 Responses

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  1. Great job, JJ. Amazing photos – I can see where they still may be rebuilding nearly a year and a half later.


    February 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm

  2. This is very interesting and informative. I didn\’t realize how close you were to this devastation. I hope things get back to normal soon. I feel a strong connection to the folks in Iowa. Good job.


    February 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

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