One Year After Deadly Flood, Clive Makes Progress on Home Buyouts

CLIVE, Iowa -- A year ago, deadly flood waters tore through parts of the metro, damaging everything in its path.

One of the hardest hit areas was NW 78th Street and University Avenue in Clive. The city ended up buying out ten properties in the area. Some of the properties in there were just torn down last week.

Residents say last year’s floods changed their lives.

“Every time we leave for a weekend, we have nightmare flashbacks," Boone Lord said.

This time last year, Lord returned home from vacation to find four feet of water in his Clive home. He says damages cost him at least $50,000.

“It’s either we are going to rebuild or the next person is going to, but we like it here," Lord said back in 2018. And he did just that.

"It’s been a crazy year. We had to clean everything up. We got our house built back, but I don’t think everyone else didn't really do it. They were waiting around for the flood buyouts," Lord said.

The city spent $1.7 million to buy out ten properties in the floodplain. Part of that money came from a federal grant. Four properties in the buyout program sit across the street from Lord.

“It’s not a shock by any means, but maybe once all four of these houses are done, it'll be a little different," Lord said.

The city said it was the best option.

“This is the right path to protect ourselves from future damages and future risk of life as well," said Peter De Kock, Clive's assistant city manager.

Lord didn't think it was the right path for him because he had already renovated his home and didn't feel the city was offering enough to buy him out. For him, no amount of money can wash away the memories.

The city hasn't decided what will sit on the land after all the properties are demolished, but officials hope to have all the properties gone by the end of the year. The city says it is considering a green space or apartments.

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