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Elizabeth Fox and Eleisha Barnett interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, September 30, 2008

Elizabeth Fox and Eleisha Barnett interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, September 30, 2008


Elizabeth Fox and Eleisha Barnett interview about the Midwest floods of June 2008, Iowa City, Iowa, September 30, 2008


Interview with coworkers Elizabeth Fox (22) of Dubuque, Iowa and Eleisha Barnett (48) of Anchorage, Alaska.
Elizabeth (age 22) and Eleisha (age 48) discuss their experiences during the flood of 2008. They discuss preparing the basement of the Office of State Archaeologist for flooding.
The day [of the flood] levee breaking on Cedar River. Office making preparations for flood. Spent week in basement preparing Office of State Archaeologist. Three rivers Eleisha crosses to get to work. Remembers driving home that day: various detours (00:00:43) -- Flood of 2003 - posting pictures on Facebook (00:05:40) -- News that levee had broken sewage plants shut down, stocking up on water. Lost internet and cell phones (00:06:34) -- Time after the flood, areas under water. Highway 1 closed. Compares damage to an earthquake (00:08:30) -- Elizabeth's experience of the flood - moving up collections. Having co-workers stay. Main road in Coralville flooding - "The Strip" (00:10:30) -- Elizabeth and a friend went sandbagging. Like "migrant farm workers." Highway closings. Deciding whether or not to leave. Path out of Iowa City. Not expecting it to get so bad. Feeling bad about not being there sandbagging (00:12:50) -- University closing (00:17:20) -- Eleisha came back into work. No one there (00:17:50) -- Remembers a t-shirt a co-worker made "Non-essential personnel and proud of it." (00:19:38) -- Feeling of "living history." Gathering things of historical importance. Sending links around the world, contact with new friends. Sharing pictures (00:20:22) -- "Feeling like I could help more." Taking food to people who were displaced. Finding detours. Seeing countryside (00:21:50) -- Almost getting rid of flood photos. Amazing to see contrasts. Flag pole flying for person killed in 9/11 Pentagon attacks. People knocked down but came right up again. Gas station coming back (00:23:31) -- Prehistoric sites - had to check and see if anything turned up. Seeing a muddy doll - things that came up out of people's basements (00:26:28) -- Thinking about the horses. Eleisha was around when Mt. St. Helens blew up. This was so much damage (00:27:46) -- For weeks later smelled like dead fish (00:28:50) -- Sending pictures out and responses. Concerns about Eleisha and her family. People asking for more and more news in Sweden and Australia. Facebook friends. Started sending news links to local channels. "The scientist in me." Mentions Katrina - also worldwide. Iowa floods third largest disaster after Iowa and Katrina. Lived for getting the news out (00:29:34) -- Keeping in touch with co-workers. Forging deeper friendships. Chance to reach out to people (00:32:29) -- Making meals for people in community. Remembers a single mother who moved out of apartment. Invited her over to play with kids. Getting in touch with former co-workers (00:33:50) -- Library flooded with people getting news from outside world (00:36:30) -- Elizabeth remembers tornado warning once they got to Rhineback. Sending links to local paper. Being in touch with relatives. Worries about basement apartment (00:37:35) -- Thinking about Katrina. Elizabeth went down to New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity. Ninth ward still desolate. Comparison of how government handled victims. Things that went wrong (00:39:10)


Fox, Elizabeth; Barnett, Eleisha


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




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Iowa City Flood
Flood Oral Histories






Oral histories (Document genres)