Stranded

RainingSo…the floods have finally cut us off from leaving the general area. Ellis is closed as it mostly just looks like part of the river now. We have a high road that leads out of the area through back roads and such. Basically we end up on O Ave. which would connect us to Edgewood and the free world. However, O Ave. is on the 500 year fload plain and thus, the parts that let us leave are now underwater.

Carly and I went out at about 6:45 this morning to check it out. It was raining something fierce and we were driving through the regular road puddles that build up when that is the case. When we turned on to O Ave. it looked like just another one of those, but I rapidly discovered that I was drowning my car. The only reason I didn’t get stuck in the water and damage my car is because I turned around and drove on the sidewalk to get back.

We still have all of our utilities functioning normally for now, though we have been warned that we may lose electricity and gas service as decided by the Cedar Rapids Police Department. We spent some time yesterday getting non-perishable food stuffs and extra gas for the grill, so we should be fine overall.

I’m pretty sure that the water level guage on the Cedar River @ Cedar Rapids is not currently functional as it hasn’t been updated since 8:40 PM yesterday. At that time the river was at 22.38 feet and rising. With the rain we received this morning I expect it is now at about 23.5 feet, though that is purely an estimate. I am uploading yesterday’s pictures now and if we can, we’ll try and take some more pictures later today.

Flooding!

FloodingSo…Cedar Rapids is currently experiencing record flooding. And it isn’t done yet. The Cedar River at Cedar Rapids has a flood stage of 12 feet. Meaning, once the river is above 12 feet, flooding is technically occurring. As I am writing this, the river is at 20 feet and rising. If  you’re interested, you can see more up to date information here.

This kind of flooding is unprecedented for Cedar Rapids. The previous major flood was in 1993 and we have already passed that level. Roads are closing, parts of the town are being evacuated (some voluntary, some mandatory). Sandbagging is happening. And people are coming out to watch. Lots of people. It’s actually pretty neat.

I’ve never really seen flooding before moving out here. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, there really wasn’t anything that could flood. We didn’t have any large rivers. Sometimes the creek would get high, but that was nothing in comparison.

Earlier this year, as the winter snows melted, the river rose to just under 18 feet. Roads closed, but there was no other major impact. I thought that was neat though. I had never seen a river overflow its banks like that. This is completely different. Still very exciting, but definitely a good reminder of the amount of control we really have over things. Mother nature is not a force to get on the bad side of.

It is time…

I have finally decided it is time to take my leave from the services provided by Livejournal and move into my own webspace. I have been considering this for quite some time as there are definite pros and cons to the move…

Pros

  • Customization: I can make my blog my own.
    • Themes
    • Plugins
    • Widgets
    • URL
  • Control: I have full control over the site including whether or not it works at any given point. It does mean that if it goes down, it is most likely my own fault, but it also means that when it is working, that’s my fault too.
  • Ad Support: If I want ads on my site, that is my prerogative. I get to choose which ads, and any profit from those ads go to me.

Cons

  • Readership: Livejournal’s friends page makes it very easy for people to keep up to date on other people’s blogs. If I don’t show up on that page, those people will most likely not read anymore
  • Reliability: My site doesn’t have the infrastructure of Livejournal to keep it up and running.

Obviously I think the Pros outweigh the Cons or I wouldn’t be making this change. In the case of losing readership, I don’t really see that as a problem. When I created the Livejournal I was still in college and had (almost) exclusively personal updates to post. The people who read my Livejournal may or may not have actually been interested in those personal posts. My intention with this site is to post more informative content and less personal content. That doesn’t mean that I won’t have any posts of a personal nature, but I expect to focus more on other content.

To make things clear to anyone who may be interested:

  • I will not be posting exclusively one type of content…it will be varied based on what I have to contribute at any given time
  • I will not be updating on any kind of specific timetable. I am not trying to make a living blogging. I am merely hoping to create content that may or may not be useful to other people.

To all those still on Livejournal…if any of you have a paid account and want to create a syndicated feed for my journal, I would be most appreciative. Feel free to contact me if you need help with that.