Elkader celebrates redevelopment after devastating flood of 2008 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Elkader celebrates redevelopment after devastating flood of 2008

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It's been six years since the devastating flood of 2008 hit Elkader. Dave Wilke owns Wilke's Grocery Store in Elkader. His store sustained major flooding during the 2008 flood.

"We have piles and piles of groceries and stuff out in the parking lot. They came with skid loader to load the stuff into dump trucks," Wilke said.

Wilke said the recent spike in the Turkey River levels had him nervous he would sustain more flooding.

"It was the exact same deal, you just didn't know how high the water was going to get," Wilke said Friday.

The river levels have been steadily declining since last week, but they still remain high at 8.47 ft. The levels were perfect Stephen Wright as he kayaked the new Elkader Whitewater Park Friday evening.

"It's a nice higher water level so there are not many rocks to worry about," Wright said.

Wright along with dozens gathered near the waterfront Friday evening to celebrate the redevelopment and achievements made to the city since the devastating flood of 2008.

Since the flooding of 2008, the City of Elkader along with Main Street Elkader transformed a post-flood buy-out area into Founders' Park. The park includes a new playground

area, recreational trails, picnic shelters, park benches and picnic tables. The city has also completed a facade improvement project to downtown buildings as well as opened Iowa's second whitewater feature.

"I hope there is a sense of pride, a sense that any small community can redevelop, even after the devastating flood of 2008. We want the people to know that any small community can do this," Elkader's Economic Director, Roger Thomas said.

"It's an improvement, we are very happy to have it," Edith Seitz of Elkader said.

The project costs more than a million dollars. Wright said most of the project was made possible through federal, state, or private grants and private donations.

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