More than $4 million in Dubuque County damage - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More than $4 million in Dubuque County damage


The city of Dubuque estimates last week's storm did more than $3 million in damage, and the county adds at least $1 million to that.

City and county officials gave their repair cost estimates Monday to two representatives with FEMA and one with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management office.

The representatives toured the storm damage Monday, conducting a preliminary damage assessment of public property in both the city and the county.

FEMA spokesperson Don Jacks said the FEMA representatives were focusing Monday on "Infrastructure damages: roads, bridges, public buildings, water plants, sewer plants, things like that."

The three representatives toured Dubuque's water pollution control plant, which happens to be undergoing a major capital improvement project.

Damages at the plant account for more than $1.5 million - or half - of the city's estimated repair costs.

Steve Sampson Brown is the project manager for Dubuque's engineering department.

"Throughout the plant, we had a lot of infiltration of grit and sediment come in through the pipe system during the high-flow events," he said.

The plant also had some electrical equipment damaged.

The representatives saw a sanitary sewer pumping station that had received nearly six feet of water, plus washed-out roadway throughout the city and county.

Damage in the county includes damaged structures at parks, washed-out trails and flooded electrical- and irrigation systems.

Debris removal is an expense, as well.

With more than $4 million in estimated storm damage between the city and county, federal dollars would be welcomed.

"The repairs will be made," John Klostermann said. He's the city's street and sewer maintenance supervisor. "You either have assistance through the federal side, through FEMA, or else we'll have to pick it up on our own."

He said crews have been making repairs since the storm.

The representatives will compile their observations and submit that information to the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management office, which will pass it on to Governor Branstad.

"And then, if the governor sees fit, he will request a federal disaster declaration from FEMA for this area," Jacks said.

If FEMA grants that, then federal funding can become available.

Later this week, FEMA representatives will be conducting preliminary damage assessments on private property.

City officials are encouraging residents with storm damage to call Project Concern at 2-1-1. They're compiling a list of people and properties affected by the storm in order to help to FEMA a more accurate picture of area damage.

City of Dubuque solid waste customers have until Friday to place unwanted floodwater-damaged items out on the curb. The city is picking them up free of charge, but only through the end of the week.

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