The Waters Rise

I first came to St. Louis in August of ’93, which is a year no one around here will ever forget.

I came cross country from Baltimore in my little, two door Toyota Tercel through a blistering summer heatwave, all that I owned of any significance in the hatchback. I had been vaguely aware, as had the whole country, that the floodwaters on the Mississippi had been high that year, especially in St. Louis. I wasn’t even remotely prepared for what I would see when I reached and crossed the river. The waters had spilled over the banks and created vast expanses of standing water. Everywhere I looked, trees, houses, billboards, telephone poles and more rose up like post-apocalyptic specters from the murky brown water. It was my first and best glimpse of the water itself, though even long after the waters receded, St. Louis reeled from the effects of the flooding. It took years to rebuild and recover, and long before the process was complete, the memorials started appearing. Signs and plaques saying things like – “the water from the ’93 flood rose this far under the Arch…”

Now it is happening again, but this time not in St. Louis, or at least not yet. The picture here is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Fifteen years later, one glance at this conjures up the memories of ’93, and the summer flooding season isn’t over. The excess water in the upper reaches of the Mississippi that doesn’t flood and dissipate will move downstream, and high waters are expected here in the near future. How high? I don’t know, but we’ll see if some of the re-engineered levees and things have improved St. Louis’ flood preparedness. For now, pray for the Iowans who are coping with the devastation of mass flooding, and pray that the flooding doesn’t keep spreading.

10 thoughts on “The Waters Rise

  • I saw a whole bunch of photos of this yesterday. My dad grew up near Cedar Rapids, and my grandparents still live in the area. He’s been to Cedar Rapids and Iowa City many times, so the flooded area is familiar territory to him.

  • We definitely should pray. They are going through quite a struggle now. Even if the flood recedes, there’s the clean up. But I am sure God is with them.

  • I’ll be praying as well. I hope the flooding doesn’t spread any further!

  • Hey L. B. Graham —i find your blog on the web. you may not know my name but we met four years ago …I wrote a short memory of that meeting and I posted it on my blog. I like your writing keep the fire alive so that the series will go on— —it is nice to meet you again…..

  • L.B. – I’ve been a fan of the series since it first came out, and live in Cedar Rapids… thanks for taking the time out to write even just a blog post. While my house personally wasn’t affected, I had friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who were very much affected by the flood. It’s definitely going to take a long, long time to recover.

    On another note, any chance at all of having another booksigning in St. Loius? My dad and I drove all the way down and up in a day when you had your Bringer of Storms release and signing, and I’d definitely be up for that. Maryland is just a bit far away for us!

  • Glad you weren’t personally affected. As I can attest, as I moved to St. Louis in the summer of ’93, the aftermath of a flood like this involves a lot of work for a lot years. Still, looking back over the last 15 years, I can say that the waters do recede, not just physically, but emotionally as well.

    At this point, there are no St. Louis signing plans, sorry!

  • Hey LB,

    I’m kind of late on commenting but I appreciate your mentioning CR. I too moved to St. Louis in the summer of 93 and remember the flooding very well. that’s why it’s been so hard for me to watch my home town of Cedar Rapids experience so much devastation. Nevertheless, God is good and good will come from the ruin.


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