Cedar Rapids residents are still getting rid of tons of flood debris 15 months after the Cedar River rose to record heights and buried thousands of homes and businesses under water. Mark Jones, superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Solid Waste and Recycling Division, says a collection crew remains busy with curbside collections.
On average, the crew is hauling away nearly 20 tons of flood debris per day. Around 4,000 residential properties were damaged in the flood and Jones says a few hundred have remained untouched since June of last year. “Some of those homes are slated for demolition and are unsafe to enter, therefore, we understand those,” Jones said.
“But, there are other homes that are perfectly safe to enter and nothing has been done. There may be 100 to 150 homes in that category.” To date, FEMA has spent over $5.6 million on flood debris collection in Cedar Rapids.
That federal funding will dry up on November 26, so Jones is encouraging property owners get their flood debris to the curb. “After the 26th, if a property owner decides to go in there and do any kind of work, they’re going to be on their own,” Jones said. “They’ll have to hire private haulers and pay for that cost themselves.” Flood debris that is placed curbside should be segregated into separate piles.
More information is available here.