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July 24, 2014 09:55 PM

Rock Rapids Looking Into Flood Recovery Plans

Rock Rapids, IA

A month after suffering through flash floods that severely damaged homes in Rock Rapids, the clean-up for many wades on.

"Everyone in this community better hold their heads high. We all pulled together, just as we did in 1993, which is why I still live here and I'm not going anywhere. This is our town. We pulled together," homeowner Eric Borman said.

The Forster Community Center filled with people hoping to get information about how they can move on from the disaster, and how the City could improve their disaster plan if a major flood would happen again.

"I know there's a lot of patting on the back for the great job you guys did, and that might be fine. I'm not saying this because I'm complaining, but for the next time this happens, can't you send people out to see if someone needs help?" a concerned community member said.

Rock Rapids and other cities in Iowa did not qualify for individual federal aid because not enough homes were damaged, but Rock Rapids did qualify for help with infrastructure repairs.

"Why isn't it done on a percentage of homes? You could wipe out the entire city of Rock Rapids and you wouldn't get to 500 homes," homeowner Ty Curtis said.

One plan that could soon be put forward is buying the land that went through the June floods the hardest.

"It would allow the city to ultimately purchase your home. We would purchase your home at the pre-flood fair market value, which would be determined by an appraisal. The city would acquire it, tear it down and it would be used as a permanent green space," Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase said.

It's the city's attempt to lessen the damage from any future floods.

"That's the program that we're excited, well, as excited as we can be I guess. We think it might be a way to help some of the home owners recover in the only way that we have for them," Chase said.

It would be a voluntary program that people can elect to join if the City gets approval to take that kind of action.

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