FEMA Warns of Spring Flooding

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

The Cedar River looking toward the 2nd Ave bridge on Monday, June 21, 2010 in Cedar Rapids. (Cliff Jette/Sourcemedia Group)

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By Kelli Sutterman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - FEMA representatives stopped in Eastern Iowa on Wednesday to warn of the dangers. They say the biggest risk is along the Mississippi River.

“Anywhere it rains, it can flood,” said FEMA spokesperson Josh DeBerge.

Memories of the flood of 2008 in Cedar Rapids still linger. FEMA’s campaign across the state warns of the imminent fear of more flooding this year.

“There are record or near record snow packs or water level on the ground in the Mississippi watershed combine that with normal amounts of rain that’s the forecast for Mississippi come from,” said DeBerge.

Clayton County river towns of Marquette and McGregor have already started proactive measures.

“We’ve got 39,000 sandbags on hand,” said Norma Mason Mayor of Marquette.

“Clearing out their gutters, allowing water to flow away from the home to raising appliances a couple inches off the floor,” said DeBerge.

FEMA spokesperson Josh DeBerge says 24% of FEMA claims come from people who don’t live in the flood plain.

Even if you’re behind a levee or flood wall…

“Many times we see greater flood damage when a levee floods catastrophically than if a river was free-flowing,” said DeBerge.

It’s preparing now for a natural disaster that could devastate your community.

“We’re looking at a pattern that has dropped a significant amount in the Midwest and all that has to flow somewhere,” said DeBerge.

If a flood happens, FEMA is the last step in the process for possible compensation. First local governments respond and then the state.

For more information, visit the FEMA website.

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