Cedar Rapids reflects on flood six years later - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids reflects on flood six years later

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - June 2008 -- a month Cedar Rapids won't forget. The Cedar River flooded the city like it never had before.

"The house flooded to just below the bottom of the first floor window," said Richard Campbell, who lives in Cedar Rapids. "We stripped it to the studs and rebuilt it. It was a lot of work."

Campbell has been living in his home for decades and his family wanted to remain in their home on the city's northwest side.

But if you look at his block, Campbell's home is really one of the last standing. The rest are mostly gone as people moved out, their homes knocked down.

"I'd like to see single-family houses back in here," said Campbell.

But Campbell says his home is in the 100-year flood plain, so he doesn't expect any rebuilding until after the long-awaited flood protection arrives.

Until recently, a lot of the talk about flood protection focused on the east side of the Cedar River. But that all changed a few months ago when the city secured nearly $264 million from the state, which means it's also going to be able to build flood walls and levees here on the west side.

"It's been a huge year for us and some people may wonder why it took so long, construction didn't start immediately but it took us a while to get the plan put together with the Corps of Engineers and lobby Congress and lobby the Iowa Legislature and the Governor," said
Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Mayor.

Since the fifth anniversary last year, many of the city building projects have wrapped up.

Corbett says that's inspiring more private sector investment like trucking company CRST's new $36 million headquarters, which will be built just off the Cedar River.
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