First Owners Of Flooded Homes Receiving Payments

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Owners of some houses in Rock Rapids that were part of the flood buyout program are beginning to receive their money.

Three flood-damaged houses torn down in March, 2015
Three flood-damaged houses torn down in March, 2015

Several Rock Rapids homes were flooded out in June of 2014 when heavy rainfall combined with the failure of a dam caused a major flood in the town. The dam that broke had been on the Rock River and created a lake in Blue Mounds State Park north of Luverne, Minnesota.

Rock Rapids Mayor, Jason Chase says the first homeowners that were part of the buyback program offered through the city should be getting their money soon. He says the closing on the properties was Wednesday, September 16th.

Chase says that the houses will not be replaced on the properties, and they will instead become green space, owned by the city. He says most of the properties in this phase are north of Highway 9.

The mayor tells us about the timeline for the rest of the buyout properties.

The Rock Rapids City Council also opened the bids for the asbestos inspection for Phase Two on Monday night, September 14th. Chase says they can do the inspections before they buy the property, but they cannot do the actual asbestos removal until after they close on each property, since removal may make the house unlivable, should the family have second thoughts and decide to keep the home.

Chase says for Phase Two, the property owners will have the money in their hands before the houses are torn down.

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