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Volunteers Filling Sandbags and Hearts

Updated: Friday, May 31 2013, 07:10 PM CDT

Whether it's through volunteers flocking to stations to fill up sand bags or giving their time to place those bags around local businesses, the push to keep Cedar Rapids dry when the flood waters arrive is a community effort.


"Citizens turned out in large numbers. All you have to do is walk down 3rd Street Southwest in NewBo and see what they did," said Cedar Rapids Department of Public Works Official Craig Hanson. "It is incredible when you look at how they went to the scene, made over 3,000-5,000 sand bags there and put them along the businesses."


"I live across town but I go to school at metro and a few kids there were talking about sandbagging so my teacher said I could go, so I did," said Eriq Kroon while taking a break from filling sandbags at the NewBo City Market.


"When I came here at eight o'clock there were already people here saying, 'Do you need any help right now? I just got off a third shift but I could put in two hours," said Producing Director of the Legion Arts, Mel Andribga.


Yet there's still much more to be done.


"We've been told three to four feet of water in the building and we're six inches off the sidewalk," said Rick Paulo's, a member of the Board of Directors of the NewBo Bike Collective. "I find it pretty amazing that the water can come up by that much by tomorrow."


Inside the NewBo Bike Collective getting prepared means getting everything off the ground. All the bikes are hung from the ceiling in an attempt to keep them from any flood waters that might make it into the building.


The reasons for those steps are obvious in the wake of the flooding five years ago.

"The last time in 2008 they told us [to prepare for] a foot and a half [of flood water] and it turned out to be ten and a half feet", said Andringa. "We dealt with a little bit more than what we expected."


Volunteers Filling Sandbags and Hearts

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