Iowa Flood Center Marks 10 Years Along with Flood Lessons Learned at Univ. of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Flood Center celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a day-long celebration Thursday. The Center has done a detailed flood map for 26 Iowa communities. The Flood Center also has created a way for people to access real-time flood information online.

“We have mapped all the streams and rivers or areas around the streams and rivers small and large that are exposed to inundation,” said Witold Krajewski, Iowa Flood Center Founder. “We monitor stream flow in real-time at some 400 locations across the state.”

The state of Iowa has spent $13.8 million to fund the Iowa Flood Center in 10 years. During that time the Center has helped secure funding of nearly $130 million to combat flooding in Iowa.

The University of Iowa also offered up lessons learned now 11 years after the flood struck the campus in 2008.

“If we look at the historic IMU facility here, we wanted to try to still engage the river while protecting the facility,” said Jeff harness of the University of Iowa. “So you can see this, an amphitheater, where we can have performances, students can have events and those kinds of things. And what actually is the barrier to the river is that brick wall that you see.”

Harney recalled on the tour how the river just got out of control in 2008.

“Inundated yeah, it was interesting at that time I worked overnight with several folks trying to create barriers along the river,” said Harney. “You could tell after about 48 hours that we were fighting a losing battle, so this side of campus there was a conscious decision institutionally, to let it go, and try to focus our efforts on the east side of the river.”

The University now has pumps and Hesco barriers at the ready, should the Iowa River rise again.

“These pumps we have a series of about 25 of these pumps stored on the east side of Iowa City they are eight and 10-inch pumps, we have each pump labeled and we know where it's located and it goes to a manhole,” said Harney.

If you would like to know more about the Iowa Flood Center, click here.

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