May/June 2008 issue

Iowa Court Offices Regroup After Flood


Historic flood levels have caused untold damage in Cedar Rapids and other parts of Iowa. Virtually all buildings in downtown Cedar Rapids had major flooding in their basements and on their first floors. The Probation office on the 1st floor is a total loss. The Cedar Rapids library “annex,” a collection of about 1000 treatise volumes, was located in the basement of the courthouse and is also a total loss.

The basements and 1st floors of the three leased buildings used by Circuit Judge Melloy, Circuit Judge Hansen, Bankruptcy Judge Kilburg, and Library Assistant Joy Osmundson also flooded.

The estimate for re-occupancy of the leased buildings is uncertain. While the judges' chambers were on higher floors and are probably ok at this point, ongoing conditions such as mold could cause further damage to books, furniture, and equipment. The Courthouse will probably not be useable for 6-9 months.

Temporary space for District, Bankruptcy, Probation, and FPD has been leased, and employees reported for duty in the District Court space on June 23rd. (See http://www.iand.uscourts.gov/for information about District court operations.)

Judge Melloy is temporarily housed at the University of Iowa Law School in Iowa City, and hopes to be back in his regular space by August 1st. Judge Hansen and his staff are in St. Louis until temporary space is available for them.

The response from the AO has been impressive. They swung into action immediately. Working with GSA, they moved with amazing speed to secure the temporary spaces, which of course are quite in demand in Cedar Rapids right now.