The one-year anniversary of the massive flood hitting Cedar Rapids has passed, but Iowans are still being called upon to help residents there to recover. Dick Webb, of Ankeny, is helping organize an effort in central Iowa this weekend to fill at least one semi-truck with donated items which remain much-needed in the disaster zone of Linn County.
Webb says they need all sorts of "gently used" or new household goods: furniture, washers and driers, gardening equipment, microwave ovens, fans, dishes, silverware, pots and pans. They’re also looking for lamps, shelving, office supplies, diapers, tools and other items. Webb is a spokesman for the First United Methodist Church in Ankeny, which is working alongside Ankeny’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in this endeavor.
Des Moines Area Community College worked with the churches a few years ago in trucking relief supplies to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina, and D-MACC is again donating big rigs and drivers for this effort. Even though it’s been a year since the floods inundated Cedar Rapids, Webb says there’s still an urgent need for help there.
"We were in Cedar Rapids on a week mission trip in late April," Webb says. "There is a huge amount of work yet to be done. The neighborhoods have maybe one or two homes that have been rebuilt. The devastation is still tremendous. The need is tremendous." He says good-hearted people from across the country are still pouring into eastern Iowa to help rebuild flood-damaged homes, businesses, churches and other structures.
Webb says, "They had 480 volunteers coming in to work on the recovery effort and numbers stay at those levels or even higher throughout the summer, so hopefully, a lot of this work can be accomplished." Donations will be accepted at the semi in the Ankeny First United Methodist Church parking lot on Cherry Street between West First Street and Second Street today , Saturday and Sunday.