Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cedar Rapids' recovery

There seems to be some debate about the speed of recovery in Cedar Rapids. I have NEVER agreed with FEMA, but in this case I do, the progress is very very slow. Yes it was a horrible disaster, but the progress has been very slow even by Gulf Coast standards.

Not only are most homes still uninhabitable (we checked the homes we had gutted in July and only one was even close to being ready AND even it is still at least a month off). Most of them have not yet been touched and 4 months after the flood we were still taking personal items out of houses prior to even thinking about gutting the now mold infested buildings.

From the Gazette online: FEMA Says Cedar Rapids Moving Too Slow:
" The surprise $77 million awarded to the city Tuesday for public flood recovery came because federal officials believed the city was too slow in asking for money.

"We just got concerned that the city was moving a little slower than what we wanted," said Eric Wynn, the Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance coordinator in Cedar Rapids."
Not everyone agrees:

Congressmen view Cedar Rapids's recovery | - Cedar Rapids, Iowa City:
"Doug Neumann of the Downtown District explained that about 75 percent of the downtown businesses representing 85 percent of the district's work force are back. Very few of the ground floor businesses are back, at least not in their former spaces."
75% HUH?? Really. If this is true, it is very very well hid. Yes the large firms are back, but many small firms especially in and around Czech Village still need much help.

Not sure? see for yourself. Go volunteer. They can use the help!

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