Tales From The (Water)Front

Image credit of Hilton Coliseum (volleyball & basketball) and surroundings from Wednesday: Arturo Fernandez/Des Moines Register. That major road swamped on the right is Lincoln Way, the old US 30 that runs east-west through town. Take it about four blocks from the “shoreline” and you can visit the Catholic Student Center. Another mile and a half get you to my door.

The young miss comes into the living room Wednesday night with a toothbrush in one hand and a cup in the other. Here’s the conversation, near as my wife can remember it:

“What’s that in your cup?”


“Where did you get it?”

“The faucet. We have water coming out now.”

“You can’t drink that water.”

“Are you serious?!”

“It’s contaminated.”

“Are you serious?!”

Then I was brought in to explain the water mains broke in six places in town and all the drinking water was infected with bacteria and impurities from flood water. No drinking water till next Tuesday.

“Are you serious?!”

Funny, these teenagers.

I don’t mean to disparage her. She was a real trooper this week helping to clean the basement. Energy conscious, too. She went out to hit a few softballs in the backyard last night and noticed the basement lights were on. So she turned them off. Too bad her mom was in the bunny room and came out to a darkened basement, stairwell, and kitchen.

You don’t want to hear the story about my sponge bath and pseudo-shower this morning. Some things just aren’t bloggable.

Students will return starting this weekend. There’s a plan to get them prepared to conserve water. If it works, that late Tuesday/early Wednesday target for normal use and drinking should hold. City officials praised citizens today for holding off on big-time water use. They report being slightly ahead of schedule on repairs and flushing the system.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Tales From The (Water)Front

  1. John Donaghy says:

    Ames has been in my thoughts and prayers since I heard.

    Not drinking water from the tap – a real third world experience.

    But it should be quite the trick welcoming all the new students with the flood and no drinkable tap water.

    Prayers will continue.

  2. Liam says:

    Just imagine how much you’d have to pay to get a landscape architect design those reflecting pools.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    Dubuque doesn’t flood. They have had seawalls and breakwaters since the 1950s.

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