(The Gazette) – July 31, 2008 -- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago officials will tour flood damage in Cedar Rapids Friday, hoping to gather information to help them understand how the June floods will affect the regional economy.

A Chicago Fed delegation hosted by the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce will take a one-hour tour of the flood-damaged areas of the city beginning at 8 a.m. After the tour, they are scheduled to meet with 11 representatives of local businesses and business organizations at the chamber offices.

The remainder of the group's visit will include a meeting with city and county officials and the Recovery & Reinvestment Team, a meeting with a group of bankers, and a meeting with a group of grain processing company executives.

Chicago Fed Vice President Bill Testa will be the highest-ranking Fed executive in the delegation. He will be joined by David Oppedahl, the director of the bank's regional programs, and Assistant Vice President Jeff Jensen, who oversees bank regulation and compliance from an office in Des Moines.

Testa will focus on how local leaders are working to reconfigure the town's infrastructure and neighborhoods.

Oppedahl will talk with agribusiness employers about the steps taken in food processing plants and their suppliers in response to the floods.

Jensen hopes to learn about the activities of banks and payment systems in the flood's aftermath.

The three plan to report Chicago Fed President Charles Evans on the economic conditions in Cedar Rapids. He will include the findings in his regional report to the Federal Open Market Committee.

The Chicago Fed region includes Iowa, and large parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.