Officials in Cedar Rapids say there’s still a lot to be done in their city to recover from this June’s flooding. Cedar Rapids Mayor Kay Halloran says the past six months have been very difficult. “We are still working very hard to return Cedar Rapids to its prominent position as an economic generator for the State of Iowa,” Halloran says, “and we need all the help we can get.”
Cedar Rapids City Councilman Justin Shields says there are “real serious problems” in Cedar Rapids that need attention from the federal government. He’s hoping the economic stimulus package President-elect Obama and Democrats in Congress are developing will help.
“We lost quite a bit of industry in the flood itself. We lost over 5000 homes that either have to be destroyed or somehow rebuilt,” Shields says. “We don’t have the economics to do that. We can’t do it without aid and federal help.” Flood water covered 10 square miles of Cedar Rapids.
Almost 5,400 homes and over 1,000 businesses were either partially or totally submerged. Only 700 homeowners had flood insurance. Officials say there are still more than 500 FEMA trailers in the state providing temporary housing to residents of Cedar Rapids and other Iowa cities and towns that were hit by flooding six months ago.