Town drying up after decade of floods - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Town drying up after decade of floods

GARBER (KWWL) -- U.S. Census population estimates show a decade of decreasing population in one Turkey River town.

According to the Census estimates, Garber's population has dropped from about 100 down to the low 70s. That's a drop of approximately 30 percent. See a spreadsheet of exact numbers for all Iowa communities by clicking HERE - or click the link on the left.

Garber mayor Harold Aulwes said the city just completed a park relocation project - part of the recovery after the 2008 flooding of the Turkey River.

He also said the flooding in 2004 was the most devastating, destroying more than 10 houses and businesses in Garber's floodplain. He said some of those people who might have wanted to stay in the town couldn't have found the space.

"There's no place to build, because there's no land here to build it on," Aulwes said in reference to the tightly-developed hill leading down to the Garber floodplain. Structures have been safe from flood damage.

In the floodplain, however, only the Anchor Inn remains. The owner has newspaper clippings and pictures of the devastation of the floodings of 2004 and 2008, which serve as a reminder of what the building and business have been through.

As for the current state of things, "It's not good, but I don't think it's going to get any better, either, because there's no place to build around here," Aulwes said. "The only place we got left is Anchor Inn. Post office is gone, the store is gone."

The mayor said at least all the damage that can be done in the floodplain has probably already been done.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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