John Scott and Steve McGuire interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, October 1, 2008

Dublin Core


John Scott and Steve McGuire interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, October 1, 2008


Floods; Evacuations; Disaster relief

Scott, John Beldon, 1946-; McGuire, Steve

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



Interview with friends and coworkers John Beldon Scott (62) of Scottsburg, Indiana and Steve McGuire (50) of Lawrence, Kansas.

John (age 62) and Steve (age 50) talk about the flood of the Iowa River in June 2008. They are both art professors who lost their offices, and Steve’s home was also flooded.

Both faculty at School of Art and Art History (00:00:53) -- First signs of trouble - truck full of sand near his house. Thought it wasn't a big deal - planning a bike trip from Canada to Mexico (00:01:48) -- Son with Cerebral Palsy, concerned about getting him out. Lives in "Mosquito Flats" - idea to build a levee around the area. People flooded in to help. Having sandbags shipped from Oregon. More laid in Iowa 2008 than in Katrina (00:04:01) -- Decided he couldn't go on the trip. Walked over the levee at night when he couldn't sleep. Steve Miller, City Engineer - "I thought we had it." Had to evacuate in thirty minutes. Threw everything in a pickup truck. Pulling vehicles out of the mud (00:07:30) -- John - summer director of School of Art. Just moved into a new building. Disbelief that a disaster could occur. Had to prepare for 3.5 feet. Moved to temporary offices. Meetings every day (00:12:05) -- Thursday, June 12 - removing valuables - slide collection. Worth several million dollars. 6 a.m. call - the building would be closed before they could move it. Gave them twenty minutes. People came from everywhere to help (00:15:30) -- Water - goes everywhere, ruins everything (00:20:40) -- Steve - allowed back into his house eleven days later - did the cleanup themselves. Snuck back in on June 13 to see the neighborhood - swift current. Couldn't get to the spare key - human feces in the water. Finally got the key, got some belongings, got in his canoe. Swept away by the current, bounced against houses. Got a tetanus shot - hard to come by at that time (00:22:25) -- Rethinking the river. The river has the "final say," hard to grasp the whole picture - the river was everywhere (00:29:50) -- Understanding of the city and University has changed. Respect for city bureaucracy. University hasn't tried to assign blame, only wants to move forward positively (00:34:10) -- Steve - feels better about people. Flood taught him to just keep on going, no regrets (00:37:30) -- What is the Art School's place on campus? The importance of campus culture and community (00:39:50)


Scott, John Beldon, 1946-; McGuire, Steve


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





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