Working in Downtown Cedar Rapids Like Working in a Ghost Town
Our studios are two blocks from the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids and to say there's few of us working in the area would be a massive understatement.
We're located on the fourth floor of the Plaza 425 building, which is located at 425 2nd St. S.E. We're technically on the fifth floor because the building also has a skywalk level, but I digress. We're part of the evacuation zone for all parcels up to 28-feet. Our building is 13 stories tall and the only remaining tenant, is us. We're considered vital personnel to the community in times like these because of our 100,000-watt mouthpiece so, if deemed safe, we're allowed to stay. To come to work in the evacuated area, we check in with law enforcement or Iowa National Guard members for admittance. Then we get into what's so eerily different than the norm.
The parkade adjacent to our building had the power cut off days ago. Other than station vehicles and our employees, it's vacant. Totally vacant. And dark. The elevators in our building don't work either. Just in case of water getting to the building, we can't take a chance of elevators accidently being left on the lobby floor. The good news is, we're getting much stronger leg muscles. We all trek from the skywalk to the fourth floor each day. Believe me, you give a lot of thought to exactly what you're going to need during the day when you know you're going to have to climb 80 stairs if you forget something. I did it three times Monday. By the way, I didn't forget anything, it's just what the day required. Perhaps I should've rethought my day.
When I left work after seven last night, I was technically breaking curfew. We're allowed to do that too. It's back to that mouthpiece thing. Still, when I left downtown at 7:11, I actually thought of that and it was a weird feeling. Like I was a kid getting away with something, stupid as that sounds.
Yes, what you've seen and heard about downtown Cedar Rapids is true. It's like a ghost town. There's no traffic except for an occasional vehicle helping with the flood. There are almost no people at all. It may sound odd, but It makes you feel strange. Everywhere you look, there's sandbags, Hesco barriers, and open space. Personally, I can't wait 'til all the craziness we've grown so accustomed to returns to this part of the city. And when it does, that will also mean this nightmare that reared its ugly head out of nowhere will be behind us. That will be the best part of it all.