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Iowa City and UI Cleaning Up Sand After 2013 Flood

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Sand has become a common sight in Iowa City.

You have the sand that's being kicked up as new construction projects come to life. Then you have the not-so-welcome-but-once-upon-a-time-necessary-kind.

“The sandbags have all come back now from the various places that we distributed them during the flood of 2013,” said Carol Sweeting with Iowa City Public Works. 

Now the city has to figure out where to put the sand - lots of it.

“We probably have about 15 thousand bags of sand that need to be split open,” Sweeting said.

You'll probably see this sand again.

“Our folks will be using it next winter to keep our streets safe in Iowa City,” Sweeting said.

15,000 bags will be quite the task for volunteers, but the University of Iowa faces an even tougher task.

 “Our intent is to have our campus back in shape and repaired ahead of the students arrived for fall semester,” said Rod Lehnertz with UI Planning Design and Construction.

With 7 miles of Hesco barriers to remove, they are bringing in the professionals, and dividing the work into four stages.

“We have bid each of those areas, and the contractors will be disassembling based on the area they've been awarded,” Lehnertz said.

Unlike the city, which plans on reusing its materials, the university will leave it up to the individual contractors to decide what happens to the sand.

The first location on the list that will be targeted…

“On Friday, we expect to start the work at the Mayflower residence hall,” Lehnertz said.

With everything else set to be completed by early August, meaning the only sand left on campus will help shape the future and not the inside of a Hesco barrier.

The city is looking for volunteers to help open up sandbags. Here’s the information from the city:

  • The City is requesting volunteers to assist in these efforts from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday, July 11 through Saturday, July 13. Volunteers are asked to check-in at the Streets Complex at 3800 Napoleon Lane and to wear closed-toe shoes. Water will be provided, but volunteers are asked to provide these items: box cutter or utility knife, sunscreen, and bug spray.
  • Volunteers must be 14 years or older to participate. Those under 18 must have a parent sign a liability waiver. Contact Carol Sweeting at 319-541-2385 with questions or if you have a large group of volunteers to register
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