Cedar Rapids plans for future flooding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids plans for future flooding

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This picture is an example of what permanent flood protection could look like, 13 foot tall walls. This picture is an example of what permanent flood protection could look like, 13 foot tall walls.
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Cedar Rapids is continuing to work on a permanent flood protection plan, something that has been in the works since the flood of 2008.

The plan requires green space along certain parts of the river, which means buyouts.

Cedar Rapids has already removed many of the homes we are talking about, since 2008, but Mayor Corbett says there could be more buyouts to come.

The city plans to buyout Best Western Cooper's Mill hotel and turn it into more green space for future flood protection.

Along Ellis Boulevard people still enjoy riverfront property.

Current homeowners told us they don't intend to leave their homes, several of them hung pirate flags last week to symbolize being on the wet side of the hesco barriers.

"We're not going to be probably approaching them for a better part of a decade," says Rob Davis, Flood Control Program Manager with the City of Cedar Rapids.

Mayor Corbett says future buyouts will be optional.

"Our hope is to negotiate a sale price with all of these properties that are going to be on the wet side but again it's not a mandatory sale, the city is not trying to use eminent domain to take property from people," he told us.

Instead he says the city is simply a willing buyer.

The permanent flood protection plan includes 13 ft. tall levees and permanent walls. 

"The idea is during a flood downtown is operating as normal," Davis says.

The city says they have about 2/3 of the money needed to complete the plan but federal money promised since 2008 still hasn't come through.

"Congress had approved it, the core has authorized it and the president has actually signed the bill," Corbett told us.

"We feel like we are a pinball in a pinball machine getting bounced around year after year after year," he added.

Mayor Corbett says he hopes the recent flood can make Cedar Rapids a priority again when it comes to federal money.

The permanent flood protection system is estimated to cost more than $400 Million and take 20 years to complete.

There will be a groundbreaking next week in the Newbo area for part of this permanent flood protection system which includes a 2500 ft. long levee city leaders say should protect the Newbo businesses that flooded last week.

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