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One day after flood waters crested in downtown Cedar Rapids, Linn County Secondary Road Superintendent Ben Merta proudly showed off some of the work his department did to prepare for the flood.
“This is called skid loader ballet,” said Merta, smiling. Merta was in charge of the HESCO barriers set up to protect county buildings.
The video on his phone showed two skid loaders quickly and expertly maneuvering around each other as they raced to fill HESCO barriers with sand at the Sheriff’s Office, Correctional Center and Courthouse.
The Secondary Road Department wasn’t alone in the effort. Crews from the Sheriff’s Office and the Conservation Department all joined the effort to secure the buildings.
And the hard work paid off. Despite minor seepage in the basements of the Courthouse and the Sheriff’s Office, all county buildings remained dry. Prompting Sheriff Brian Gardner to write a thank you to county employees who pitched in to help.
“Thanks again for all that you have done, are doing and will do,” wrote Gardner. “You’ll never really know how much this means to me.”
Pictured below are county workers removing HESCO barriers at the Sheriff's Office on Sept. 28, 2016, after the flood crest.