FEMA to help with $500K flood reconstruction project - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FEMA to help with $500K flood reconstruction project

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Relief is in sight for a trail badly damaged in the floods of 2016. A part of Dug Road Trail in Decorah was washed out by flooding, leaving $500,000 in damages, but FEMA has offered to help.

After the flooding in September, the well traveled trail was closed for sometime for major clean up after it collapsed 10 feet. 

"It was a pretty jumbled mess it almost literally looked like an earthquake instead of an avalanche or a landslide," said Chad Bird, Decorah City Manager.

The whole trail runs 12 miles around Decorah, but a 400 foot section was impacted the hardest.

"It just simply slid down into the river valley right into the river," said Bird. "We've been trying to work with FEMA on what repairs look like and how we can mitigate that for the future."

The repairs cost around half a million dollars, but FEMA is offering to pay 85 percent of the total costs.

"Whether it's federal funds or local funds it's important we do it right and we put it back together the way it's supposed to be," said Bird.

Hundreds still use the trail everyday and it's important to the city of Decorah that the trail is fixed.

"One of the options is to just simply close the trail and abandon it...obviously that's just not a viable solution because of the use," said Bird. "We see upward of four, five and six hundred users a day depending on the weather, or whether it's a weekend, so it's very well traveled and heavily used."

Decorah City Council is working on finding a contractor to start the job and they are set to review bids in November. If all goes well the trail should be repaired by June.

The main goal of the reconstruction project is to make sure the soil under the asphalt is strong enough and will not collapse again.

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