Cedar Rapids city leaders say they’ll request Congress fully-fund permanent flood protection regardless of whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends it. Initial results show the Corps will not back the city’s preferred flood protection plan, which is a series of walls and levees to protect against the level of the historic June 2008 flood. Ron Fournier is a spokesman for the Corps’ Rock Island district.
“We have not fully developed all the alternatives or the economics of those alternatives,” Fournier says. “We hope to have those available late June or early July when we will have a public meeting here in the city to discuss those findings.” Congress can approve building flood protection without the Corps’ recommendation. Cedar Rapids City Manager Jim Prosser says the community will ask for complete funding regardless of the study’s outcome.
Prosser says, “It might be that the Corps’ project would just provide approval or support for a portion but it is our intention to seek funding for the full plan.” The Corps is completing its study in a shorter timeframe than usual because Congress might consider special legislation to fund flood protection projects throughout the country this year.