#Flood2016 showed the best of Cedar Rapids

When faced with a flood, Cedar Rapids banded together

It’s not often that you get to fight Mother Nature and win.

But that’s what happened in Cedar Rapids in the last week of September. As floodwaters approached a near-historic crest, the entire city mobilized to protect homes and businesses.

The remote home office

The remote home office

It truly showed the best of our community. Hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers helped to sandbag throughout the city. Those who couldn’t lift bags prepared sandwiches, drove trucks or coordinated volunteers using social media.

Although the McNary home was not impacted, our office at Vault Coworking and Collaboration Space had to be evacuated for more than a week. Thankfully, the building stayed dry and we were able to get back into the New Bohemia neighborhood within a few days of the crest.

The outpouring of support has continued post-flood. Although many businesses escaped major damage, they had to close for a week or more – losing revenue every day. Mayor Ron Corbett challenged all residents to support 10 flood-impacted businesses in the month of October, and people are responding to the call with #CRGavelChallenge.

This experience has been a reminder of what community is all about. Neighbors helping neighbors, looking out for each other, and offering to help without expecting anything in return. And possibly most importantly, still showing up, day in and day out, after the immediate danger has passed.