Eintime Conversion for education and research 10-14-2009 @ 19:49:41
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DES MOINES (AP) — University of Iowa officials on Tuesday more than tripled their estimated cost for flood damage at the campus, with the tab now expected to exceed $231 million.

The estimate, made at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a best guess but could go higher, said University of Iowa spokesman Steve Parrott.

"This is still an estimate and a preliminary estimate ... but we wanted to make sure we didn't underrepresent what the damages are," Parrott said.

Previous estimates from University of Iowa President Sally Mason had pegged cleanup and repair costs around $75 million, though school officials had said they expected the figure to increase. Parrott said university officials were learning more about the extent of the damage on campus each day.

The new cost estimate includes $136.2 million in damage to 20 campus buildings, tunnels, parking lots and other structures. Damage to building contents was estimated at $55.5 million. Other costs include debris removal and leasing space.

The damage was caused by the Iowa River, one of several rivers that topped their banks in the state during record flooding in June. The flooding forced thousands of residents out of their homes, swamped downtown Cedar Rapids and inundated thousands of acres of farmland.

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