Cora Bern-Klug | September 7, 2016
Preliminary damage estimates are being released after near record flooding in northeastern Iowa. On August 23rd more than seven inches of rain blasted Decorah, Spillville, and other cities in Winneshiek county and the surrounding area. The flood left homes and streets in need of major repair.
The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management estimates that the flood produced 5 million dollars in damage to public infrastructure. This estimate does not include damage to private property which could also be in the millions for Iowa home owners. Winneshiek county suffered the most damage with estimates of $2.4 million for repairs. According to Lee Bjerke, Winneshiek county engineer, $500,000 will go towards county roads and bridges. The Department believes that 165 individual residences have been damaged. Ten being completely destroyed, 28 had major damage, and 75 suffered minor damage from the flood.
The other seven affected counties combined have around $2.6 million allocated for the damage. Most of the money will be used to restore gravel roads that were washed away. Fayette county is receiving $60,000 for road repairs, Clayton is at $40,000 and Allamakee at $200,000. Wastewater treatment plants were also greatly impacted: Fort Atkinson, $422,500; Clermont, $200,000; Spillville, $75,000; Waucoma, $50,000; and Freeport, $20,000.
Counties are looking to begin work on the repairs immediately. While some counties are preparing to rebuild, others are looking on the bright side. Elkader City Administrator, Jennifer Cowsert said, “we got lucky.”