Most of the 25,000 Cedar Rapids residents who were forced from their homes by flooding –were– hoping to return to those homes today, but it’s likely not going to happen. Even though the water levels have fallen, city council member Brian Fagan says very few people will be allowed back into the disaster areas as the risks are still too great.
Fagan says, "It is easy to fall into the mindset that the water is now receding and it’s gone in some of these neighborhoods, and so the physical danger is gone, and that’s simply not the case." Fagan says emergency crews have been in the flood-damaged areas and they’re finding a host of serious problems, including structures that are too dangerous to enter.
"There’s environmental hazards. There are public health hazards and other physical dangers out there that are just either very noticeable — or not," Fagan says, things like missing or dislodged manhole covers, L-P gas tanks that have washed into yards and many roads that have washed out. By this afternoon, Cedar Rapids property owners should be able to access information on the status of their property and whether it will soon be safe to enter.
Residents can call 2-1-1, check lists that are being distributed at area post offices or log on to " www.CorridorRecovery.org ".