You have probably heard that Iowa City got a direct hit by a tornado on Thursday. I have been looking at some pictures on flickr and through the images that are posted on this DesMoinesRegister.com web site. I won’t post any of those images here– that strikes me as somewhat ghoulish for some reason– but I’d encourage you to go and look. One of the things that has got to be a problem here, especially for all of the students in apartments who are displaced, is that these college kids don’t have any sort of insurance, for the most part. I certainly never had renter’s insurance; maybe the college kids today are smarter than I was.
I lived in Iowa City while I attended the University of Iowa from 1984 to 1988, and I really did feel like I “lived” there, that I wasn’t just a student resident who was simply occupying a space and living out of a suitcase. Still, I haven’t lived there in 17 years, and I really haven’t been back much, either. I’ve stopped in a few times on trips back home, done a bit of shopping downtown and met up with some different folks and such, but that’s about it. I have one old friend who lives there (she’s pretty much lived there her whole life), and she reports to me that there’s been a lot of damage, though it sounds like she managed to not have any storm problems herself.
Oh, and a lot of the damage appears to have been in a part of town where I didn’t actually live or hang around much. So to me, even though I was there for years and even though I have always liked Iowa City a great deal, much of the damage looks anonymous to me. Even though I know it’s not.