Dubuque to Clean Up Flood Damaged Neighborhood

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

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By Jay Knoll

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Ten months after record flash flooding in Dubuque destroyed several homes in one neighborhood, the city is finally moving forward on cleaning up.

In late July 2011, more than 15 inches of rain dumped on the Dubuque area causing widespread damage. For almost a year, Stephen Letourneau has been staring at his neighbor’s flood and fire damaged home.

"Flames were about 15 feet above the house and the fire department was here but they wouldn’t get to the house,” Letourneau said.

Flood waters surrounded the burning house leaving behind this pile of rubble. Neighbors call it an eyesore.

“It will be nice to see it gone. Something needs to be done,” Letourneau said. Demolition crews will remove the rubble, then tear down three other nearby flood damaged homes. FEMA is giving the city more than $500,000 to purchase the four properties. The city will use another $100,000 of it’s own funds to turn this area into green space. City leaders expect demolition to start sometime this summer, an entire year after the flood.

"The process is somewhat lengthy because it is private property. We have to establish the fair market value for these properties,” said City Planner Kyle Kritz.

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