The City Council moved ahead to purchase a temporary flood control system to protect many of the flood-prone parts of the city to some degree until permanent protection is in place.
The temporary system, which will cost $6.6 million for materials and mobilization if needed, will be available this flood season.
The council approved the concept of a temporary system a few weeks ago, but wanted to hear more about why it was too expensive to protect the lowest-lying area along the river, the New Bohemia/Oak Hill area.
Last night, the council agreed with consultant Stanley Consultants Inc., Muscatine, Iowa, that it did not make sense to spend an additional $3 million to protect property valued at about $2 million below Eighth Avenue SE on the east side of the river in what is New Bohemia/Oak Hill.
Council member Brian Fagan suggested that maybe that area could be the first to see the coming permanent flood protection when it is built in the years ahead.
The temporary system features a product called a tiger dam, in which water fills bladders, and a product called a Hesco Concertainers, in which sand is used to fill plastic-lined mesh baskets.
The latter was used in Johnson and Des Moines counties last year.
Once the flood forecast is for the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids to reach 20 feet, the city will mobilize the temporary protection. It will protect Time Check, Czech Village and both sides of the river downtown to a river stage measured at a downtown river gauge of 24 feet.
The city twice has had flood water reach 20 feet in its history. The only time it was higher was last June, when the river reached 31.12 feet.
Protecting to 24 feet will protect 830 homes and $21.3 million in property value, consultant Jim Kill, of Stanley Consultants Inc., Muscatine, Iowa, told the council last night.
Kill called that “a good ratio” between the cost of temporary protection and the amount of value being protected.
He said the ratio “validated” the council’s earlier decision to protect to 24 feet.