A week ago I returned from Washington DC from an NIH grant review session. At NIH, the forbidden F–word, is of course “funded.”
However, as bad as the funding is right now, sometimes we scientists need to put things in perspective. A real F-word that is out there in many states in many areas of the US right now is: FLOODING
On my flight back from DC, despite having seen and heard the news for weeks and weeks, I was nonetheless shocked as the plane began to descend into the Omaha area. Flying low over Western Iowa, Missouri River looked like the sea. I could see roads submerged entirely underwater, telephone poles barely poking above the surface, barns and homes almost completely invisible, and of course miles and miles of farmland turned into swamps.
There were bridges sitting above the rising water, with no visible road, reminding us of the infamous Alaskan “bridge-to-nowhere”.
I did not try to take photos, but here is a link to an Omaha news station showing aerial video of Nebraska, Iowa, and, farther north upstream, Gavin’s Point Dam close to the border of the 3 states.
Today, we ventured from our high point well west of the river to the downtown region where the Missouri River separates eastern Nebraska from Western Iowa, and crossed the pedestrian bridge to the Iowa side. Although nothing like some of the aerial photos, the power of the river and its rushing currents was something to behold.