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Old 10-25-2016, 02:37 PM
10 posts, read 7,665 times
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I might be getting a job opportunity in Waterloo area and wanted a bit of advice/opinions.

From what I have read so far I like the sound of Iowa, we are currently living in Central WA and were originally looking to move to Boise ID but no jobs have come up. I am a very outdoors person (mainly watersports) and my wife and I like rural living (not in the middle of nowhere, but just somewhere we can have 3 acres or so) so just wondered if those are things that sound practical in Iowa?

Also, I have read about Tornadoes in Iowa but the general consensus on here seems to be to not worry about them, correct?

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:58 PM
Location: Wyoming
9,729 posts, read 18,522,190 times
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You'll be a long way from the mountains, but I'm sure you realize that. I spent my teens in Iowa but just couldn't go back, even with my sibs living there. People are friendly and the area is beautiful, but I got a taste of tall mountains with clear streams and lakes decades ago and never could leave.

Having said that, I think NE Iowa is the prettiest part of the state. I'd planned to move to Decorah (hour north of Waterloo) several years ago, but when it came down to it, I just couldn't make the move away from the mountains. If you can leave them behind, the area east of Waterloo gets very nice as you approach the Mississippi River breaks.

As for twisters, I don't believe I've ever seen one in Iowa (lived there for 10 years), but my sister lives on a farm in west-central Iowa, and their farm (the 10-acre improvement area with house, barns, etc.) has been hit by FIVE separate tornados over the past 30-40 years -- including one that hit their house, taking the attached garage and the roof off the kitchen. They must be in a particular spot that attracts tornados, because that would be weird even in the heart of tornado alley. Each tornado that came through left its mark -- big barn once, hog shed another time, implement shed another time, grain sheds another time, several trees each time. Only one tree remains standing from the time they moved there. (My wife and I were married under it 15 years ago.) Their "farm," a thousand acres or so, has seen many more in the same period -- mostly within a half mile of their house. This is along I-80 in western Iowa, so as long as you stay clear of that area....

When we moved to Iowa from NE Kansas, my mom was excited to be getting out of tornado alley. (I'd seen several dozen while growing up there.) Iowa gets it's share of twisters, but for the most part, they're fairly rare when compared to KS, OK, TX and the Midwest/SE states east of there.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:37 AM
215 posts, read 204,787 times
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I moved to Waterloo's sister city, Cedar Falls in 2000. The first month here I decided to take the kids fishing to a small 'lake' and caught two tail-walking bass. I felt I found home.

Waterloo is a blue collar town. John Deere and Tyson are the larger private employers. The University of Northern Iowa is in Cedar Falls. The area is usually referred to as the "Cedar Valley" and is home to about 100,000 people. Housing is very inexpensive, though taxes are a bit high. Nothing is more than a 20 minute drive. Shopping is limited, the malls are collapsing and being replaced by Wal-marts, etc. and Amazon is a regular source for us. The area has a very diverse population (for Iowa, that is) and welcomes immigrants enthusiastically. Bosnians, Somali, Myannmar are the most recent. That said, the food is surprisingly dull; Nordic and featureless. There are no good restaurants.

As to water sports, there are some small lakes and the Cedar River but nothing to put a big boat in locally. The Mississippi river is only a 90 minute drive from here and many people dock there and travel the (empty) 4 lane highway on the weekends. My neighbor has a very large boat they spend weekends on.

Other than the cold, snowy winters life is pretty easy here. We'll be moving to MO soon, but only because of the weather.

People have an exaggerated though not unfounded fear of tornadoes. I lived through one in the Chicago suburbs in 1967, 30+ did not. They can and do happen anywhere on the plains but have extremely localized paths of destruction. Hurricanes and floods are far more dangerous. But it's not a big concern and ample warning is the norm. Boy do we stare at radar in the Spring.

You might look at the local news station, KWWL and the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, WCFcourier.com to get a flavor of the area.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:42 AM
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I would personally choose Cedar Falls vs Waterloo but either way, finding 3 acres just outside of town will be easy. As for outdoor activities, depends on what you mean specifically, but hunting, fishing, hiking, cross country skiing, etc. will all be easily accessible.
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