Iowa Home Owners Angry Over Flood Checkpoints


JIM SUHR
Associated Press
June 17, 2008

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Police twice caught a man in his flood-damaged home before the property had been cleared by city inspectors. But Rick Blazek vowed to return — even if he had to sneak behind bushes.

“Once I’m in there, I’m not coming out unless they have handcuffs and leg shackles,” he pledged Sunday at a checkpoint where authorities were limiting access.

That’s what happened Monday when officers pulled Blazek out of his pickup after he tried to run a checkpoint. When he allegedly bumped an Iowa state trooper with the truck, police drew their guns, broke a window on his vehicle and wrestled Blazek out. He was charged with assaulting an officer.

Blazek was among thousands of flood victims frustrated by authorities’ decision Monday to cut off access to flood-damaged homes because of safety concerns. About 25,000 people have had to leave their homes since the Cedar River began flooding.

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