Iowa History Daily: June 14 - Don't Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Iowa History Daily: On June 14, 2008, the Iowa Cubs hosted the Nashville Sounds at Principal Park in downtown Des Moines in front of a paid attendance of 0. As rivers across the state rose to ultimately devastate many communities, the I-Cubs beat Nashville 5-4 as Des Moines issued an evacuation order.

A wet fall and winter throughout much of the state led to oversaturated soil and prime flood conditions by early June of 2008. In the northeastern portion of the state, observers noted soil saturation reaching levels up to 125% prior to a record-setting rainy start to June. Rains continued to fall on June 12 and 13, leading officials throughout the state to take safety precautions.

The Cedar River peaked at over 31’ in Cedar Rapids on June 13, and massive flooding also took place on the Upper Iowa, Turkey, Maquoketa, Wapsipinicon, and Iowa rivers. In some places high water marks exceeded even the Great Flood of 1993. Evacuation orders sent Iowans scurrying for safety, and citizens in Des Moines hoped improvements during the previous decade’s monumental flood including a new levee around the water and sewage treatment plans would hold.

Similarly to the stereotypical Iowan meandering outside in response to tornado sirens blaring, the Iowa Cubs gained permission from city officials to play nine, pending they agreed to not let in fans. Two scouts attended, sitting directly behind home plate. Otherwise, the park stood empty save for the two teams slugging it out alongside the raging Des Moines River. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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