Iowa HBAs Swing Into Action After Flooding
Following tornadoes and flooding that drove 38,000 people from their homes in Iowa last month, the Greater Cedar Rapids Area Homebuilders Association joined forces with city inspectors to undertake the daunting task of initial home inspections, determining which houses were safe to reinhabit and which were beyond repair.
Wayne Winn, president of the association, reported that in just one week, 100 volunteers from the Greater Cedar Rapids HBA completed 5,063 inspections.
“Never before have I been prouder of this association and its members,” said Midge Barvinek, the association’s executive officer. “I was always aware that the people in this association were caring, giving, ready-to-sacrifice individuals, but it never became more evident than in the weeks after the flood,” she said.
“Volunteers stepped up to the plate and helped the city with inspections, they filled and stacked sandbags, they were on the backhoes helping with the downtown clean-up efforts, they worked in shelter, they volunteered at food banks, and the list goes on and on,” Barvinek said.
“The clean-up work is actually only just beginning,” she said, “but our association will be there to rebuild, refurbish, remodel and remain united until the job is done, many, many months from now.”
Other areas in the state are also struggle to return to some form of normalcy and will undoubtedly feel the effects of the flooding for some time. Unlike most states, Iowa began the year without many money worries, in part because farmers were prospering from high corn and soybean prices.
“Storm damage will have long-term effects, not only economically,” said Flora Schmidt, executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Iowa. “The usual activities of HBAs will take back seat to the current crisis, with members physically and emotionally exhausted” in the immediate aftermath of the floods.
Schmidt produced a one page checklist of key tips for HBA members on steps they can take to help their businesses and community recover from the disaster.
Initial damage estimates in Iowa have topped $3 billion.