Keithsburg Flood Buyouts Begin - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Keithsburg Flood Buyouts Begin

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It's been four years since a levee break put Keithsburg under water.

Flooding homes for the second time in less than 20 years.

Residents were given a buyout option, and its taken all this time to move through it.

The first closings just started this month.

Thursday, one more couple said their final goodbye to their home.

"Nice town except the flood practically ruined it, over 100 houses had to be torn down from 93 up to 2008," says longtime Keithsburg resident Joe Gluba.

He and his wife called 1407 Washington street home up until last year.

"She gardened most of the time and I fished most of the time with a fishing buddy."

They survived the floods of 1993 and 2008 with the help of a neighbor and a pickup truck.

"Four wheel drive pulling, tore up the yard, but I got that pretty well fixed up."

It was the latest flood that convinced the Gluba's to move away.

"We weren't able to take care of it ourselves anymore."

Gluba says signing the last papers over to the buyout lifts a weight off his mind. It was a long time coming.

"I can't say red tape, but a lot of procedure to go through to get the houses condemned and all that procedure."

Walking around the house for the final time brings the memories flooding back. The park that used to be a neighborhood.

"We used to have a Christian church over there on that corner."

The garden overgrown from neglect.

"All weeds now what used to be beautiful flowers, up until the winter."

Gluba says it's bittersweet to leave for the final time. Although not as hard as moving out one year ago.

"It was worse than that when we moved, it still is."

Joining dozens of other neighbors giving the land back to the flood plain.

Seven closings took place Thursday.

Another five should wrap up before the new year, allowing Keithsburg to demolish those homes sitting in the flood plain.

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