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The future of Main Street in Hamburg, Iowa

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 7:26 PM CDT
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HAMBURG, Iowa (WOWT) - Demolition is underway along Hamburg’s historic Main Street and 6 News was there Thursday getting an up-close look; returning Friday to find out what’s next in this flood-stricken town’s road to recovery.

A handful of cherished buildings are coming down, but things are also starting to look up.

“As sad as it is to see these things go hopefully we can do things that will last longer and bring people back to Hamburg,” said Brianna McCreary, who grew up in Hamburg and moved back to the town with her young family.

“There’s so many steps being taken here on so many different projects that I can see that’s it’s just overwhelming,” said Alan Dovel, Director of Public Works, City of Hamburg. “And it’s a very good thing to see.”

A few new businesses are coming to Main Street; opening soon is a new specialty tea and coffee shop. And while the flood damage is still tough to ignore, so too is the progress.

A roughly $2 million, two-story, 30 room hotel is set to be built on an empty lot next to city hall.

“It’s crazy to see all the changes,” said McCreary, “But I think it’s necessary because I mean you have to change with the times.”

And perhaps the most apparent sign of the times, Hamburg will soon have its own dollar store. Crews are busy prepping land on the outskirts of town. While back on main street they’re hoping it drums up business.

“The more people you can attract to town the more people that are going to stop in here,” said Phillip Kuhr, manager of Stoner Drug. “Whether they’d planned to or not.”

And what exactly fills the soon-to-be-empty lots of the five flood-damaged buildings come down

is still up in the air, but there is some vision

“We want something that has some character to it,” said Dovel. “Something kind of rustic. Our new hotel is actually very rustic looking it’s in the shape of a barn with a silo.”

And protecting it all will be a bigger and better levee. Work is set to begin on it next month; a relief to those wiped out last year.

“We got flooded out, we lived down south Main Street,” said McCreary. “It was to the roof.” They’re in a new home now up the hill and optimistic about what’s to come.

“I’m excited to see it,” said McCreary. “And I’m glad we’re in it for the long haul. I’m glad my kids will get to grow up in a community like this.”

The town is also set to start drilling two new wells on higher ground

replacing those destroyed in the flood. As for when the work on Main Street will be done, Mother Nature will play a big role in that but they’re hoping to have teardown and cleanup complete by next summer.

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