Friday morning, between 3 and 4 a.m., there was a huge storm in Eastern Iowa, notably in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. I was awoken at 3:40 by the sound of thunder, heavy rain and hail. My immediate instinct was to unplug my Blackberry, which was done charging at the time and check to see what the hell was going on outside (by using my Blackberry’s browser). The power to my house went out shortly afterwards and stayed that way for about 16 hours.
Later that morning, I found out more about the storm and how destructive it was. Around 4 a.m., I was already reading about trees that had fallen in various parts of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area and therefore grabbed a flashlight to see if any part of the large trees surrounding my house had crashed into my house. They didn’t, but the tree behind my house barely missed the house.
That is essentially what happened throughout large parts of the area. There are huge old trees that look like they were just ripped from their roots as if they were weeds being pulled from a garden. Huge limbs that have fallen on powerlines and roofs and utilities poles that have just fallen.
In Cedar Falls, there is a tree that is actually four trees that came together to become one tree. There is a sidewalk under the tree and you could actually walk under it, although you might have to duck if you’re of my stature or higher.
This tree was damaged in the storm, which is sad and I even elicited a response of, “Oh, not that tree. That’s sad.” However, several other trees were damaged. Like the tree behind my house.
Tonight on the 10 o’clock news, the NBC affiliate, KWWL, had this tree being damaged as their top story and they even referred to it as being a “landmark.”
I’ve lived in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area for far too long of a time.and I can think of things that constitute as landmarks. The Blacks Building, the University, the UNI-Dome, the Downtown Cedar Falls area–which constitutes as the city, according to the mayor’s office of Cedar Falls, the Grout Museum Complex, Kingsley Elementary in Waterloo, the Waterloo Public Library, which used to be an old post office; the museums run by the Cedar Falls Historical Society. This tree is not one of those things. Yes, it’s a scientific anomaly, but I don’t think it’s a landmark.
And it’s a tree. Their top story focused on this tree and treated the damage in the rest of the area as a secondary story. Yet this is what the tree in my backyard looked like.
The tree in my backyard barely missed my house. There are several people who can say that they had big-ass portions of trees that barely missed their houses.
You’re probably wondering why I’m so bent out of shape over this. This is because KWWL was named “the best newscast in Iowa” by the Iowa Broadcast News Association, which shocked me, but not as much as an incident that personally affected me involving awards for journalism excellence that I would rather not get in to at the moment. So here they are, “the best newscast in Iowa” as they enjoy reminding viewers, talking about a damaged tree.
Meanwhile, over at KCRG, their top story was about a family in Cedar Rapids who might have been affected by the scandal at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip. I also found out from KCRG’s newscast that all of the trees at the laboratory school run by the University of Northern Iowa were damaged. According to my mother, all of those trees were very old. I sadly can’t find a video of that, but I can find a video where they do discuss the damage done to the “landmark” tree in the form of a conversation that runs like this:
Reporter: At six, we’ll tell you more about what happened to this four-legged tree.
Anchor: Four-legged tree?!?!
Reporter: Four-legged tree.