Donald Baxter and Carol Johnk interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, September 30, 2008

Dublin Core


Donald Baxter and Carol Johnk interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, September 30, 2008


Floods; Evacuations; Disaster relief

Johnk, Carol; Baxter, Donald

United States -- Iowa -- Iowa City; United States -- Iowa -- Iowa River



Interview with friends and coworkers Carol Johnk (51) of Hudson, South Dakota and Donald Baxter (50) of Atlanta, Georgia.

Carol and Donald discuss sandbagging before the floods hit. They also remember photographing the surreal scenes that the floods produced.

Donald and Carol were sandbagging. Describe the process. As the flood was coming. To protect from the flood (00:00:51) -- Carol talks about the unreality of the flood - like a movie. Donald agrees (00:02:58) -- Donald remembers when the flood came. Sandbagging helped. Spent a week off of work (00:03:48) -- University shut down for a week. Then asked to document flood damage. Both Carol and Donald volunteered to help (00:05:59) -- Donald photographed the art museum. Speed of mold growth (00:07:14) -- Carol took pictures of the music building (00:08:35) -- Donald photographing old art building basement. Seeing things left behind. History being removed (00:09:14) -- Donald photographed steam plant. Seeing parts of university never seen before. Carol got into a building she had never been in before. Totally dark room using flash to illuminate, seeing a huge laser for a few instances. Rooms lit only by repeating flash (00:11:19) -- Opening a door into an underground tunnel going from building to building (00:14:54) -- Tunnels caused huge problems that sandbagging could not prevent (00:15:40) -- Learning Iowa used to be a huge inland sea. Donald and Carol talk about relationship to water, flooding (00:16:42) -- Donald talks about sandbagging and being part of a large scale natural disaster - seeing people you know. Proof of "social capital and community pride." Everyone was out. Children filling up bags and a blind person filling up bags (00:22:03) -- Carol on photographing a flooded apartment building. Carol remembers a particular apartment - one woman had all of her things in the apartment, couldn't get her things out (00:23:14) -- Donald talks about seeing a neighborhood in Cedar Rapids. Feeling lucky to have been in Iowa City. Entire neighborhoods flooded. Iowa City has a dam (00:25:19) -- Carol visited Coralville. Seeing flood water was beautiful during the sunset. Trouble with beauty of those pictures (00:27:45) -- Rains before the flood. Beauty of weather during the flood (00:29:00) -- Eating gritty cold cuts. Living with sand for weeks. Smell inside buildings (00:30:43) -- Cleaning crews who came in were amazing. People who go around the country and clean up after disasters. Often immigrant labor. Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador. Iowa has had recent immigrant raids. "Made me feel guilty." Losing helmets (00:32:40) -- One of Donald's pictures of ducks swimming around parking meters (00:39:05) -- Carol took pictures for her family (00:39:35)


Johnk, Carol; Baxter, Donald


StoryCorps (Project); University of Iowa. Libraries. Digital Research & Publishing





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