CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – U.S. Senators and Representatives from Iowa highlighted the continuing fight against flooding in Iowa on Tuesday.
The lawmakers joined city leaders at a ground-breaking for another milestone project in Cedar Rapids’ Flood Control System Master Plan.
Work will soon start on a moving roller gate, that can be slid across 16th Avenue, at the east end of the Bridge of Lions. The gate will help seal off the Sinclair/New Bo Levee just south of downtown.
“So many of my neighboring communities are still going through the flood events of this year,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said. “So, I see the impact every single day that I go home to my community.”
The roller gate is the first federally funded project in the city’s master plan.
Lawmakers also attested to the toughness of the people of Cedar Rapids, for their journey back from the 2008 floods that caused over $5 billion in damages.
“You see not only evidence in this project,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said. “But you see what has been done to revitalize from the damage that was done 11 years ago; and that is a community coming together.”
A handful of protesters stood quietly behind the rows of chairs at Tuesday’s event, holding signs that said things like, “There’s No Planet B.” They believe these flood control measures will be futile if lawmakers don’t focus more on climate change.
“I think this is just a sign of things to come,” Phil Engen said. “We also need to treat the source; which is climate change.”