You probably saw it on the national news: Cedar Rapids, Iowa – home to the main offices of AB Transport – experienced all-time record flooding in early June 2008; 11 feet higher than any previous flood crest.
(Our photos can be found below this article).
As contaminated flood water began entering the AB Transport offices – water which would later rise 7 feet high throughout our main floor – our team was not only caring for our employees, customer files and equipment, but also responding to an urgent call for help.
It was mid-morning on June 12, 2008, the day that our office went underwater, when we received a hurried call from the emergency management coordinator for Johnson County, Iowa. He described an immediate need for large pumps to save a number of buildings along the Iowa River in Iowa City. He had located Army National Guard equipment at Camp Dodge, 110 miles away, but couldn’t get the equipment to Iowa City.
As the AB Transport staff took on this challenge, we were in the process of moving to a temporary office with borrowed telephone lines. Despite our own situation, we were able to quickly locate a flatbed unit in central Iowa that could be diverted to Camp Dodge. There it loaded four large, 8-inch diameter water pumps and was able to drop the equipment on site in Iowa City by 5:00 PM that same day. We were in time to have the pumps running before the flood crest arrived! It was a small victory in a summer-long crisis, and just one of hundreds of stories people from all walks of life lived through that day, doing anything and everything they could to respond to those in need.
Although our community has years of rebuilding ahead of it, we look forward to being a part of a brighter and better Eastern Iowa.
Flood Story Postscript – As we worked through the summer flood crisis with our neighbors, we gained yet another new customer: FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Water begins to enter the building on the morning of June 12, 2008.
AB Transport - 222 2nd St. - later that day -- around 4:00 p.m.
Looking out across the street from the front of the AB Transport office.
The Cedar River takes over 2nd Street.
"Rescuing Benjamin" the office mascot from an upper level.
Benjamin is a paper mache' dog covered in dollar bills.
Looking down onto 2nd Street from an upstairs window at AB Transport - June 12, 2008.
Looking out onto 2nd St. from an upper floor of AB Transport - June 12, 2008.
Shawn's office - the chair (and anything else light enough) is floating!
Another view of Shawn's water-filled office. The front window looks out onto 2nd St.
Looking north on 3rd St from the SkyWalk.
Looking north on 2nd St. from the SkyWalk.