And Tigerhawk is proud of the difference.
The flooding in eastern Iowa has reached the point of catastrophe. Towns are overwhelmed, businesses destroyed, and crops are gone. A fifth of the corn and soybeans are gone. Fox News is calling it “Iowa’s Katrina.” Here is a gallery of aerial photographs at the web site of the newspaper I used to deliver every afternoon, the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
The thing is, though, the people of eastern Iowa seem to be stepping up in the Iowa stubborn way. I have seen any number of man-on-the-street interviews, and nobody is complaining. They all seem to be working to solve their problem, which is not surprising because Iowans do not complain about tragedy. They complain about hot weather and dry weather, but not tragedy. And I have looked for reports of looting and come up empty so far.
Katrina has become a metaphor for many things beyond natural disaster, including governmental and individual incompetence (depending on your point of view). In Iowa there is a 500 year flood, but the people are not paralyzed, whining, or looting. There will be no massive relief effort from around the world, and nobody will step up to help Iowans except for other Iowans. Yet years from now, there will be no Iowans still in FEMA camps.
The difference is not in the severity of the flood, but in the people who confront the flood.