Flood Damaged Dairy Queen Gets Torn Down

By Sara Stewart, Reporter

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By Sara Stewart

CEDAR RAPIDS - The first business affected by the flood in Cedar Rapids is torn down Thursday.

It was a summer hot spot, and around for decades.

But the historic flood in downtown Cedar Rapids left the First Avenue Dairy Queen under several feet of water.

"It's hard to watch to know that we've had so many years involved in the business and to see it torn down like it is, it just happened so quickly,” says Kinch Donithan, the Dairy Queen owner.

It came down quickly--but it's been around for a long time.
Kinch Donithan remembers coming when he was a teen--Then he bought it in 92 when it was just a two-window walk up.

"The fact that we're a pretty visible part of the area makes it tough to do this,” says Donithan.

But he says he had no choice because the building would have cost more than a half a million dollars to completely rebuild.

Donithan says once this is all cleaned up, he plans on selling the land.

"There's a lot of different things that would do well down here,” he says.

"I did see they saved a dairy queen sign for me so I am going to go ahead and take that,” Donithan says.

That sign is the only thing he's taking away from this Dairy Queen after the flood.

The rest is memories and history.

The owner says he may consider rebuilding another Dairy Queen somewhere else in Cedar Rapids.

But for now he's going to wait because he says there is still too much uncertainty in many neighborhoods.

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