"The moral of this story? BEFORE abandoning your home in the event of a
natural disaster, consider your decision from the standpoint of the
potential for bands of marauders with guns (AND the legal impunity to
use them) having their way with your property. Oh, and just in case you
think "your" property is "yours" to return to as you wish. . ."
See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
Checkpoints stoke frustration among flood victims
By JIM SUHR – 2 days ago
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Police twice caught a man in his flood-damaged
home before the property had been cleared by city inspectors. But Rick
Blazek vowed to return — even if he had to sneak behind bushes.
"Once I'm in there, I'm not coming out unless they have handcuffs and
leg shackles," he pledged Sunday at a checkpoint where authorities were
That's what happened Monday when officers pulled Blazek out of his
pickup after he tried to run a checkpoint. When he allegedly bumped an
Iowa state trooper with the truck, police drew their guns, broke a
window on his vehicle and wrestled Blazek out. He was charged with
assaulting an officer.
Blazek was among thousands of flood victims frustrated by authorities'
decision Monday to cut off access to flood-damaged homes because of
safety concerns. About 25,000 people have had to leave their homes since
the Cedar River began flooding.
There were no other arrests.
"I hope it's the only one that we have," police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin
said. "I understand people are very upset and justly so. But most of the
citizens have been very patient. I know they are not angry at the
police. They're angry at the situation."
At a checkpoint on the other side of town, pastor Mike Gray stood ready
to counsel anguished homeowners.
"One lady was disappointed she couldn't spend more time with her home,"
said Gray, of the Valley View Baptist Church. "Yesterday, there were
people getting angry. You can understand that."
At the checkpoint Blazek tried to run, Dennis Usher was keeping his
misery in check. The 63-year-old retired college athletic director said
he had no idea when he would get back into his home just two blocks from
the river, but he was resigned to waiting.
And he didn't blame city officials for their response.
"I don't think anyone expected this," he said.