Cedar Rapids a Stronger Community

Cedar Rapids is no stranger to floods. For as long as anyone can remember, the Cedar River has wreaked havoc on those who live and work close to its banks.

KCRG Photo

KCRG Photo

When a foot of rain fell in communities in northern Iowa two weeks ago, meteorologists predicted the Cedar River would challenge historic levels, and flood the communities along its banks.

It was apparent that Cedar Rapids was on the verge of another major flood only 8 years after the Cedar River rose 20 feet above flood stage. Many found it hard to believe it could happen again so soon.

(It cost the city over $2 billion to restore the downtown area and took it years to recover.)

But instead of panicking, the entire community sprang into action, filling sandbags and moving items from businesses and homes in the downtown area.

Some located available resources and sought shelters for displaced citizens. Others made meals for those who were hungry. Everyone opened their homes and their hearts to those affected by the flood.

In other words, we did the same thing we did 8 years ago, only better. We knew now what to do, and we did it.

Cedar Rapids held its breath as the river began to rise. Drones and social media kept citizens up-to-date on the areas hardest hit, including Ushers Ferry, Seminole Valley and Ellis parks, and areas southeast of the river.

And as the river crested, Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids’ mayor, that if the Hesco barriers (which they used to build a wall around the downtown area) held, “they would have saved the city.”

The barriers did hold the flood waters back (though there was some controversy about how the city determined where to place the barriers) and the majority of the downtown area was spared.

But it wasn’t just the barriers, the pumps, and the sandbags that saved our city. It was the countless volunteers who poured positive energy into filling sandbags, moving furniture and equipment; those who brought food and water to the volunteers, and worked around the clock to make sure our homes and businesses were safe; these are the real heroes.

It is because of them that we are emerging from this close-call an even stronger community.

Local band, Four Star Fate, wrote a song to pay tribute to the people in our community: “We Rise Above”

Tried & True: Snickers Pie

Most of us like pie. But if you’re like me, you try to stay healthy, too.  When my daughter asked me to taste a pie she made a few weeks ago, I hesitated because I’m watching my weight.

“Come on,” she said. “One bite won’t hurt.”

I took a small bite. It was so good I took another. And then another.

“It’s called Snickers Pie, but it tastes more like peanut butter,” she said and watch me take another bite.

It was so creamy and delicious, I couldn’t put the fork down. When I realized what I was doing, I stopped myself.

“It’s good, isn’t it?” she said with a laugh.

I looked at her with an “I can’t believe I just did that” look.

“It’s too good,” I told her jokingly, as I wiped my mouth with a napkin.

“I know! It’s addictive!” she said, still laughing at me.

The pie tasted just like the Peanut Butter Pie Bishop’s Buffet used to sell (where I worked in high school), minus the Snickers candy bars. I have been looking for a good peanut butter pie for years but could never find one I really liked.  Until now.

My youngest daughter rarely bakes, and when she does, it’s for a good cause. “What’s the occasion?” I asked her.

“Someone told me this was really easy to make so I decided to try it. It’s so easy, even I can make it,” she said with a chuckle.

One thing’s for sure; she’s definitely not as bad as she thinks.

The sugar content is quite high, as can be expected, but it’s not as bad as I first thought. I entered the ingredients on Fitnesspal.com, and found out that for a delectable slice of heaven, it’s only 530 calories, about as much as a small chocolate shake. The pie is not something I would eat every day, but it is great for special events; it’s quick, easy, and awesome.

And it’s definitely worth the extra 1/2 hour on the treadmill.

Snicker Pie

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 to 2 containers Cool Whip
3 Snickers candy bars
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust

Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in 1 tub of Cool Whip until well combined.

Cut Snickers bars into small pieces. Add chopped candy into PB mixture and stir (Save some for topping). Spoon mixture into pie crust. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkle with chopped candy bar.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.


Courtesy of Fitness Pal