Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 14, 2008; Page A01

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, June 13 — The sun finally broke through the layers of clouds on Friday, a reassuring presence after a week of rain. But as residents in and around this eastern Iowa city surveyed their waterlogged landscape, they did not like what they saw.

“It looks like Katrina,” said a man in a pickup truck who declined to give his name. He was stuck in traffic that was at a standstill for 10 miles on the interstate north of the city, gazing at the Quaker Oats factory and buildings sitting in several feet of water.

Locals said the flood that hit Iowa’s second-largest city is far worse than the deluge of 1993. About 25,000 residents have had to leave, and hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged, many of them severely.