"Drowning In Rain:" A Note From The Flood Zone

This morning, an e-mail from CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds, who's in Iowa covering the severe flooding there, appeared in the in-boxes of a few senior producers and editors of the CBS Evening News.

It's an eye-opening note of few words, but it made a big impact here in the newsroom. We thought we'd let you read it firsthand, so you can see what Dean has been through in the past 24 hours.

From: Reynolds, Dean
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 8:24 AM
Subject: Today

It has been a very rough night. Rained thru the early hours. Thunderstorms and torrential downpours ongoing now. So hard you can barely see. Ground is drowning in rain. Levees in cedar rapids may be breached when the cedar river crests this evening, which will create a Ninth Ward-style disaster. It's already at record height.

Driving through downtown the pictures are reminiscent of katrina and rita. No exaggeration.

Situation elsewhere similar. Aging infrastructure a concern.

Mississippi River barges halted. Locks closed. Too dangerous.

Emergency crews stretched thin because of rain here and tornados out west.

Access will be increasingly difficult due to road closures. Satellite truck lost signal (after early show liveness) because storm is too thick. worst case we could track into computer. Liveness is iffy.