Iowa Flood Barrier Removal to Take Some Time

October 6, 2016

Officials say the removal of temporary flood barriers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will take an extended period of time.

Cedar Rapids city engineer Nate Kampman said most of the removal work after water from recent floods receded focused on clearing away sand-filled barriers from entrances to bridges and important roads. Some barriers may be around for weeks.

The Cedar River crested last week at its second-highest level in history. City officials said a 9.8-mile system of barriers and earthen berms protected homes and businesses.

Kampman said some of the barriers will stay in place longer than others.

“We’re focusing more on barriers sitting in streets, driveways, blocking railroads and blocking businesses,” he said. “Those types of barriers will come down first.”

Kampman said the city has private contractors working alongside city crews, however the city only hired about two thirds of the original number to remove the barriers. With time not being a pressing issue, the city can afford to cut costs in that area.

KCRG-TV reports that some barriers, especially those in out-of-the-way locations, such as city-owned parking lots, may be around for weeks.

A few of the earthen berms will stay in place as long as they’re not blocking streets, Kampman said. While the berms are not built to the standards of permanent flood levees they may be needed in the future.

“As long as they left it up and let it settle,” said Czech Village area resident Josh O’Connor. “I don’t see why they’d spend the money and manpower to take it down.”

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