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Flood Prep Becomes Winter Prep

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The snow that fell this morning is pretty much all gone, but as winter goes on, the conditions will only get increasingly dangerous. But because of preparations that happen for other emergencies, like flooding in Cedar Rapids, the people who make the Corridor safe say they work together better.

"A lot if things that you do really are the same for any type of disaster. So whether it's a tornado or whether it's a flood, a lot of things you do all kind of work in concert," said Marion City Manager Lon Pluckhahn.

"The city has, out of necessity, had to work more efficiently with other departments and it's been a good thing," said Cedar Rapids Fire Department Special Events Coordinator Greg Buelow.

When there's a lot of snow on the ground, Buelow says by working together, the city sometimes can even divert plows to help emergency responders get to areas that haven't been cleared yet.

An added obstacle this year is that Public Works is renovating much of its space, meaning equipment and vehicles are being stored in different locations or outside. Having the necessary funds for the project made it too good to pass up.

"This is kind of like, you either do it now or we weren't going to do it for decades to come," said Public Works Maintenance Manager Craig Hanson.

But that means that some of the equipment used in the summer will be moved to other locations, allowing what's needed for snow removal to be nearby. The city says it's a little extra planning and more work, "but we're still out there to try to make the same level of service this year as every other year and that's our expectation," said Hanson.

Hanson also said they what you'll see the city doing over the next few months is a result of nearly two years of planning. Hr said trucks were loaded with salt last night to hit the slipperiest parts of the city, the bridges, if the weather got bad enough.
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