Cedar Rapids To Break Ground On New Flood Protection As Recovery Work Continues

Oct 7, 2016

The mayor of Cedar Rapids says cleanup continues from the second-biggest flood in the city’s history earlier this month.  Ron Corbett says unlike the devastation from the record flood of 2008, most property damage this time was limited to basement flooding.  And, he says, businesses in the flooded area were mostly hurt by lost customers.

“Most of the business damage wasn’t from property damage, it was the damage from lost revenue when they had to close down for a week or so,” he said.

Corbett is asking people to visit businesses in the affected area and post a picture of themselves on social media.  One person will be chosen “honorary mayor for a day” and win a gift certificate. 

Work has been continuing to remove some of the nearly 10 miles of temporary HESCO barriers and earth levees that were quickly built ahead of the flood. 

“We still have a few HESCO barriers up that need to come down,” Corbett said. “We took the ones that were impeding traffic or commerce down.  There are still some in place but we’re going to take our time to get those down.”

Corbett says some of the temporary flood barriers that are not blocking roads or property may be left in place for a longer period of time. 

Meanwhile, the city Cedar breaks ground on a new levee Tuesday afternoon.  The structure on the east side of the river will help protect the NewBo neighborhood from a 21-foot flood.  This month’s flood was the second-highest in city history, at 22 feet.  When a permanent flood protection for the city is completed, the new barrier will protect against a 31-foot flood. 

The new levee project will also include pumping stations that will help keep flood waters entering neighborhoods through storm sewers. It is expected to be completed late next year.