Today, many residents of eastern Iowa are remembering the devastating flood of four years ago. On this date in 2008, the Cedar River crested at just over 31 feet. A ceremony was held in Cedar Rapids at 10:15 this morning – coinciding with the exact time the river reached its highest level.
Cedar Rapids Fire Chief Mark English says he remembers the flood like it happened yesterday. “I remember standing on the bridge with another firefighter and you looked at it and couldn’t believe this was really happening,” English said.
This morning’s ceremony was a ground breaking for the city’s new central fire. Cedar Rapids Firefighters have worked out of a temporary location since the flood waters filled their last permanent home.
Battalion Chief David Brown said the memories of the summer of 2008 will stick with many Iowans for the rest of their lives. “A lot of people were caught off guard because of the amount of water that did come down the Cedar,” Brown said. “People lost everything…it was pretty gut-wrenching.”
To this day, the old flood-damaged central fire station in Cedar Rapids stands, but is damaged beyond repair. The new $19 million dollar station is due for completion in the summer of 2013.
by Jill Kasparie, KCRG-TV