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USGNN Original StoryIowa Glass Shops Contend with Floodwaters

As flood waters begin to recede in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, glass-related businesses both in the city and further downstream brace for more challenges as the Mississippi River begins to rise. contacted representatives from local glass shops in the region to see how their businesses have been affected. While all had not experienced any physical damage to their business premises, their companies were impacted in other ways.

Businesses at Netom Enterprises in Cedar Rapids itself hasn't really been affected, but transportation issues have plagued the company. According to president Chris Lyons, "the main freeway from Cedar Rapids going south was blocked off, resulting in a detour of 281 miles," Lyons says officials just opened the local bridge this morning. He also reports that four employees of his company are presently living out of a hotel and their homes are flooded.

Don Iron, branch manager of Midwest Glazing of Cedar Rapids, also says that four employees have had to seek shelter elsewhere. While his company is "overall in good shape," he reminds that his company is "just starting to feel the impact, as officials just opened the city to residents and business owners."

Further downstream in Keokuk, Iowa, Andrew Chatfield, general manager of CHMI, also considers his business to be "reasonably lucky" to have no suffered no damage, but is concerned for his staff. Many of his employees live in Illinois and it will be "tremendously hard to keep open if they close the bridge on the Illinois side," as the company will lose both administrative and production staff.

Chatfield and his staff are doing their part to help the relief efforts as some of the company's employees from the manufacturing side spent yesterday afternoon aiding in the sandbagging efforts to reinforce the levees.

However, Chatfield warns that the Mississippi River is not expected to crest until tomorrow and that the water is currently ten feet over flood stage.

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