Linn County looking at flood protection for Mays Island - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Linn County looking at flood protection for Mays Island

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - In 2008 the Linn County jail and courthouse were among the many flooded buildings in eastern Iowa.

"We lost our electrical hookups," said John Harris, Linn County Supervisor. "We lost heating and air conditioning. The elevator didn't work. A lot of records that were damaged."

The City of Cedar Rapids is securing funding to build a system of flood walls and levies over the next 20 years---for each side of the river.

"The community wants to see flood protection on both sides of the Cedar River," said Joe O'Hern, Executive Administrator for Development Services. "That's been the council's direction."

Those walls won't protect Mays Island, home to the Veterans Memorial Building and the Linn County jail and courthouse. County supervisors want to know how much it will cost to protect the island and are having a study done.

Since 2008, the Veterans Memorial Building has undergone major renovations.

"They've also done quite a bit of work on flood mitigation efforts over there," said O'Hern.

The county has made similar efforts by moving heating and air to upper levels and changing elevators. They've also stopped storing records in lower levels.

In 2008 it took about four months for the county buildings to re-open. If similar flooding happened now, it would take less time.

"We'll probably be back in---and up and running---in half that time," said Harris.

That's why the county won't commit to building flood walls for the island. Right now, supervisors just want to know the price.
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