Flood of Money Coming to Shore Up City’s Infrastructure

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A little peace of mind is coming to parts of Des Moines.

The city has been awarded an $111 million grant that will allow the city to improve levees, pump stations, and to raise bridges above the flood threat.

"I think what's important to recognize is that these projects need to be done, with certainty, to protect you know the downtown area and the other areas, the neighborhoods of Des Moines," City Manager Scott Sanders said.

That's what Jim Post wants to hear. The head of the McKinley School - Columbus Park Neighborhood Association says his community has been through enough flooding.

"You know realistically, I think we went through a 500 year flood, and a couple of hundred year floods in the last 10 or 12, 15 years so you know you would just think that it's only gonna get worse. So, you know, anything that they (The City) do has to be a help," Post said.

The grant will go towards a total of over $300 million in improvement projects, nearly half of which are already complete. "We've been working on flood mitigation for decades. We did not want to stretch it out further several decades to get this work all done," Sanders said.

And while some of the work is already done, studies are needed to begin the rest. Engineers are checking to see where the levy system is most in need of improvement.

“There's elements of this that we`re gonna try and get at as immediately as possible. I believe raising of the red bridge is one of the earlier projects we've looked at even for a few years now, that we think we could approach very quickly," Sanders said.

The city says the end goal of all of the work is being able to certify the levees, and to assure the residents and businesses of Des Moines that they're protected under flood situations.