The flood recovery effort in Cedar Rapids continues as the city prepares to buy out some of the damaged homes. A seven-million dollar grant from FEMA will pay for the they buy outs which could include 100 or more flooded homes. Cedar Rapids development coordinator Jennifer Pratt says the families need the money from the buy outs to become financially secure.
"Our goal is just to get it done as quickly as possible and seamlessly as possible because they really do need this to move on that next level," Pratt says. Pratt says the process for receiving federal disaster money is still too slow, even though the Cedar Rapids recovery timeline is similar to that of other disaster-affected communities.
"I know it’s very frustrating for a lot of people that were affected by the flood because a year later, it’s just a long time, a long time to keep dealing with this," Pratt says. The federal money allows for the buy outs even though some homes have already been demolished.
It’s estimated there are more than 1,000 properties in the city that could be bought out but it’s unknown when more money will become available. The first round of buy outs could be completed by December, eighteen months after the flood.