Cedar Rapids to install sewer guards in wake of teen's death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids to install sewer guards in wake of teen's death

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

As part of a settlement with a family whose teenage son died last summer after being swept into a storm sewer, the City of Cedar Rapids has announced plans for safety upgrades to that sewer inlet.

Logan Blake, 17, was killed after being swept into a storm sewer near Arthur School in Cedar Rapids on June 30 during flash flooding.

Logan and two other boys were walking near the school when Logan and one of the other boys got swept into the drain. The other boy was rescued from a drain pipe. Logan's body was found in Cedar Lake.

In a plan the city developed working with Logan's family, public works will install a guard, fence and signage at the storm sewer intake at 27th Street NE and the CeMar Trail, the one Logan and his friend got swept into. The project is set to be finished by May 31.

According to the city, this will settle any claims the family might have against the City of Cedar Rapids. The city will also pay $2,000 for attorney fees.

The resolution authorizing this agreement will be presented to the city council on Jan. 13.

"Our focus has always been on making sure this never happens to another family," Candice "Candy" Blake, Logan's mother, said in a written statement. "We appreciate the cooperation we have received from the city to resolve this issue.

"Logan was the kind of person who would always help people and never expect any recognition or praise for it," she added. "He was quietly one of the coolest kids you ever met. Having these safety measures in place will help our family find peace, knowing that other children in our community are protected. That's what Logan would have wanted."

"Our one and only goal was to find a solution so no other family has to go through what we have been through," Mark Blake, Logan's father, said in a written statement. "If this tragedy can be a catalyst for change, that will honor Logan's memory."

In addition to what's in the agreement, the city is reviewing similar sewer inlets to determine if safety improvements should be made.

Cedar Rapids began with inlets near schools and found five locations where the inlets were connected to 36-inch or larger sewer conduits at least 100 feet in length and were within 1,000 feet of a school.

Two of the locations already have inlet gates. Arthur School is one of the remaining three. The other two, near Harrison and Hoover schools, are being evaluated.

Fourteen sewer inlets near parks connected to 36-inch or larger storm sewer conduits at least 100 feet in length or longer and within 1000 feet of a park are in the process of being evaluated.

The city also plans to increase flash-flood safety education for kids and adults.

For more information on the dangers of floodwaters, visit www.nws.noaa.gov.

If you live in Cedar Rapids and have questions or have specific areas of concern, contact Sandy Pumphrey, Public Works Project Engineer II – Flood Mitigation at 319-286-5363 or email s.pumphrey@cedar-rapids.org.

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