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The “Low Cost” Hidden Solution for Flood Recovery

July 29, 2008

Des Moines, IA – This spring's flooding will cost Iowa governments tens of millions of dollars. It's a major blow for many small towns with few resources. But Iowa State University associate professor of Community Planning Gary Taylor says they'll need more than money to rebuild.

"It would be very beneficial to have some planning to go with the rebuilding, so that folks in the flood plain have some options."

Taylor says small towns have to do city planning now like never before.

"Options include outright purchase of land and conversion of it into parks and green space, remapping the zoning map to really restrict what's allowed in that flood plain area and changes in the building codes."

Naturally, Taylor says, people want to clean up and return to their homes as quickly as possible, but first there should be discussion about relocating flooded homes and businesses to higher ground. He adds that using resources to identify the most vulnerable buildings can be a far less expensive alternative.

Dick Layman/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IA