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A Helping Hand for Flooded Main Street Iowa Towns

August 21, 2008

Des Moines, IA – Work is in progress to make the flood-damaged Main Streets of five historic Iowa towns beautiful again. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is operating a Web site for collecting donations to help repair the downtown areas damaged by high water in June.

Jennifer Sandy with the National Trust says they set up the site to raise funds a few weeks ago, and there's already been a big response.

"All the proceeds raised from the site will be split evenly among the five Iowa Main Street communities that were the hardest-hit by the floods, and that includes Charles City, Waverly, Elkader, Waterloo and Burlington."

Tom Guzman is with the state's Main Street Iowa program that works on city center redevelopment in Iowa communities. He says many of those flood-damaged buildings are historical landmarks that had been renovated.

"Without a doubt in every one of our communities there are buildings that are 100 to 150 years old, many of them on the National Register of Historic Places, many of them National Registered Districts."

Guzman says they will be able to rebound faster using these donations because of the built-in organizational ability that comes with being a Main Street Community.

Dick Layman/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - IA