Tag Archives: Flood

Mt. Trashmore Trail do you use it?


Mt. Trashmore Trail

I’ve been thinking about checking out local trails and rating them but I haven’t figured out DSCN9488a rating system or whether or not people would even be interested.
On June 1, 2013 the Cedar River flooded. One trail that was underwater was the trail along the dump also known as Mt. Trashmore. I saw a video last week that had me sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time here’s the video!

Riding the Mt. Trashmore Trail while it is underwater is dangerous. Thankfully, this man knows this trail and how rivers work but I wouldn’t suggest doing anything like he did to anyone. I enjoyed the video.

Checking the water line at Mt. Trashmore

Get up to 5 new .COMs, $5.99 per year for the 1st year! I wanted to see just how high the water got and so my friend, Jim Pate, and I went down there to get some footage of the flood line and the Mt. Trashmore Trail on June 12, 2013.

Mt. Trashmore review

We saw a lot of people using the trail and knew that they smelled the same things we did. The Mt. Trashmore Trail has got to be the most vile smells of all smells in Cedar Rapids, Iowa next to the ADM plant. The Mt. Trashmore Trail is not a trail that I would suggest to anyone, especially a newcomer. I just wonder if you use the trail and if so, why?


Flood Watch 2013


Flood Watch 2013

We had a flash flood the day before yesterday and a flood similar to the flood of 1993 that is to crest tomorrow, June 2, 2013.  I have lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa most of my life and one thing that stays the same during each of these floods and that is the water has to have somewhere to go.  A few feet could make all the difference in the world for people who went through and continue to have water problems since the 2008 flood.

Flooding in Cedar Rapids

I don’t think we would have the sewer problems we have if the city would just work with the DNR to dredge the riverIf the city council worked as hard for flood protection as they have to acquire and demolish homes and businesses we would be so much better than we were before the flood of 2008. 

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Flash Flooding in Cedar Rapids


Flash Flooding In Cedar Rapids

First Avenue Bridge

1st Avenue Bridge

Do you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa? If so, do you live in a flood zone? Was your home impacted by the 1993 floods? How about the 2008 floods?
Yesterday, May 30, 2013 a fast moving storm caused some flash flooding in Cedar Rapids. The city is frantically working  to prevent flooding, or so they claim.

Current Flood Warning

There is currently a  flood warning in effect.  KCRG reported last night that “several homes on 1st Street NW will be impacted”. Problem with that statement is there is only one home on 1st Street NW and “the basement is still dry.” The storm and flash flooding certainly impacted drivers though!

Flood Lessons

Like the city, homeowners also learned valuable lessons from the 2008 flood. Always trust your instincts and have a plan. I will be watching the river and updating my findings.  Flash flooding and river flooding are different types of flooding. The river rising is a drawn out event and predictable but flash floods happen quickly without much notice.  Both are potentially dangerous. If flood water is already starting to come up through your basement drain you might want to consider disconnecting your furnace and moving it to higher ground. If you don’t know how to do that call for help.
I
am no expert on the city but living on 1st Street NW as rebuilt homes were demolished after the 2008 flood I have a unique perspective on how things operate around here. I do not blame the city workers for doing things backwards because they are only following orders. I hope that a city worker who understands the frustrations of the people who live in the core neighborhoods will step up and run for city council.
We have got to get this city back to operating without any agendas but to equally serve and provide essential services to it’s citizens.
Everyone I’ve spoken to agrees that the city should have focused on flood protection before buying and selling Real Estate. Flood protection should have been the city’s first priority since the 2008 flood but it hasn’t been. Nope, instead of focusing on the real issues the Cedar Rapids City Council squabbled with people all over the city over buyouts in the name of flood protection while giving downtown players “sweetheart deals” for riverside property on the east side.

When we voted for the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) it was supposed to help rebuild flood impacted property and flood protection. FEMA did not require we move the Public Library and spend millions of our disaster dollars to acquire and remodel the event center three blocks from the river the city council did.  FEMA did not require properties be bought out the city did. Remember the buyout program was a voluntary property acquisition after the 2008 flood.

 


RE: Northwest Recreation Center Site Selection Task Force


Letter to the city council and the Northwest Recreation Center Site Selection Task Force

I know the Northwest Recreation Center Site Selection Task Force meets tomorrow and that they are in charge of selecting the site for the Time Check Recreation Center replacement and I want to make certain my concerns are heard if I am unable to make it to the meeting.
Is the plan still to build on this “preferred” spot that just flooded?

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The “preferred” site for the replacement of the Time Check Recreation Center

“Sina said the city might need to cut down 600 trees to make way for the recreation center on the Q Avenue NW site” http://thegazette.com/2011/09/26/panel-recommends-ellis-for-rec-center/
Couldn’t we instead appeal to FEMA to go with the Ellis Blvd site by Time Check Park? At least it doesn’t flood “every year”. I would be willing to write in favor of that site but I will fight tooth and nail against anything being built in Ellis Park especially after the last few days!
Here’s a video I made today hoping to have input (even though we already went through the neighborhood planning process and had our opinions asked over and over until we’re blue in the face). I am concerned that our input as a community still hasn’t been taken seriously. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecckNCbx1Dk

Please take this into consideration when choosing the site.
This ice jam flood reminded many of us who went through the 2008 flood just where the river fed into the neighborhoods before coming out of it’s banks! Please train someone to run the dam to control this better in the future.
Thank you,
Ajai Dittmar

 


Use it or Lose it


City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, cir...

City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, circa 1868. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am so glad that the people who live near Cleveland Park spoke out against the “Time Check Recreation Center” going in their backyard.  From my understanding the city didn’t start the recreation center– it was started by the neighbors of Time Check and was later taken over by the city’s “parks and recreation” department.

We haven’t had the recreation center for five years. I think that the city has gone too far in asking for federal handouts.  With all of the other disasters that have happened since our flood I can’t imagine every disaster going the route Cedar Rapids did and getting very far with the federal government. I hope that FEMA comes back and holds these people accountable for the waste and corruption that has taken place here since the 2008 flood.
If you don’t think the city is spending federal money like it’s free money then you need to take a look at councilman Chuck Swore in this video below.


FEMA denies the City of Cedar Rapids funding for the Time Check Recreation Center- Again


Well well, FEMA denied the City of Cedar Rapids funding for the Time Check Recreation Center, again. What is your opinion on this? Do you think it’s a good idea to give the city money to build a brand new recreation center in the 100 year flood plain after the city neglected to clean out the original recreation center for three years? These photos show the recreation center three years after the flood:
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The city wouldn’t clean this building that was blowing mold all over the city for three years until it was time to start discussing the replacement of the building! When the city finally did decide to clean it out they hired an out of state company even though nearby residents offered to clean it out for free.
Don Karr told FEMA Tuesday morning at a meeting, “You’re not helping us put the city back to the way it was before the flood, “said city council member Don Karr. “I’m asking you to stand by your word.”

Flood impacted people were told “not to expect FEMA to make us whole” yet, city officials expect just that! FEMA is expected to make things better than ever for the city. FEMA has done a lot for Cedar Rapids already! They paid for all the buyouts (after the houses were demolished- the city received $27 Million dollars just to acquire approximately 192 properties in the “green-way”), we have a new library, a new fire department being built, refurbished Sheriffs Department, the Paramount Theater has been rebuilt,and many other projects have all been built new and all better than they were before!

How much more will the city leaders demand from FEMA? Especially since city leaders are merely spending the money because it is there? This while disasters such as Hurricane Sandy is fresh in our minds. What about these disaster victims? What about the new FEMA recipients in California? One must ask why didn’t the city make due with what they had instead of expecting FEMA to buy and build them a brand new city? When will Cedar Rapids leaders consider the other disaster areas that will need that money to recover? Who is paying for all of this? Taxpayers need to know where their money is going in these hard times!
“We’re going to keep fighting it,” Karr said. “We’re going to keep fighting to get this built.” The city has 60 days to appeal FEMA’s decision. They say because the plan was rejected, rebuilding efforts may be pushed back another year.


Another unethical relationship in Cedar Rapids – by Lisa Kuzela


Another C.R. Unethical Relationship!
by Lisa Kuzela on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 9:05pm

Matthew 25 received January 2011 thru June 2011 from Greater CR Community Foundation (GCRCF) the following grants.

Background: Matthew 25 is a “faith-based” non profit organized by brothers, Clint Twedt-Ball and Courtney Ball. At the time of the flood, Clint’s wife, Karla was vice president over grants for the GCRCF. When President (CEO), Dan Baldwin left, she became the interim president until the current CEO, Les Garner, retired from being president of Cornell College and took that position. After that, Karla was the vice president. However, sometime since, they changed her title back to vice president over grants and programs. Also, Courtney’s wife is an accountant at the GCRCF. Matthew 25 has received an abundance of flood fund monies, as well as other funds, since the flood.

Matthew 25 had an office and tool-lending library at the Linn County Corridor Recovery Center. (They have also received nearly $100,000 for their tool-lending library.) They worked with the Methodist volunteers and had a huge say in who got the volunteer help to rehab and who did not.

Matthew 25 partnered with Affordable Housing Network, Inc. (Jim Ernt’s non profit hired to allocate residential Jumpstart) to form Block by Block. AHNI had control over the financial ability for us to rehab.

Now, the city is giving the partnership of these two groups our properties after our Federal dollars are spent by the city to buy them. So far, Block by Block has been approved, or are in the process of being approved, 73 properties.

NOTE: It is the responsibility of the GCRCF to ensure that any grant proposals are feasible. It has come to light that GCRCF has been funding a project (Cultivate Hope) that violated our city ordinance. The GCRCF also gave Matthew 25 $15,000 in 2010 for this same project.

Community Fund

$12,000 to Matthew 25 Ministry Hub for Cultivate Hope (Renewal)

Organizational Development Fund

$5,000 to Matthew 25 Ministry Hub for Matthew 25 Database Implementation

Flood 2008 Fund

$48,502 to Matthew 25 Ministry Hub for Basic Needs Assistance, Youth Development, and Neighborhood Advocacy

$13,962 to Matthew 25 Ministry Hub for Basic Needs Assistance, Youth Development, and Neighborhood Advocacy

Youth POWER

$1,500 to Matthew 25 Ministry Hub for Groundswell Youth Courses

From the six month period of January 2011 thru June 2011, Matthew 25 received a total of $80,964. This is JUST from the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation.