Barriers used to protect soldiers now stopping floodwaters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Barriers used to protect soldiers now stopping floodwaters

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's second-largest city has managed to keep flooding at bay largely because of barriers that were widely used to protect soldiers in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Crews in Cedar Rapids hastily erected Hesco barriers along nearly 10 miles of the Cedar River through neighborhoods and downtown. As of Tuesday morning, the sand-filled containers had protected thousands of properties, some up to 4 feet beneath the surging waterway.

The barriers were invented by British entrepreneur James Heselden, a former coal miner who used them to stop erosion on his property. They were then used by the United Kingdom's military to replace sandbags that protected soldiers from blasts in Bosnia. The U.S. military later used the barriers extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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