Bad news: Iowa's flood risks are even larger than before
March 8, 2010

The National Weather Service office in Des Moines has issued its third spring flooding outlook, and declares: "The risk of major flooding has increased een higher since the second outlook on February 19th". Flooding is now expected from the middle of March into late April, with high risks for both ordinary river flooding and flash floods. The four river basins about which they are most concerned are the Des Moines, Raccoon, Iowa, and Cedar -- which, unfortunately, include the biggest population centers as well. The latest report from the Davenport NWS office is just as threatening, with very high probabilities for major flooding along the Mississippi River, for the Wapsipinicon River at De Witt, the Cedar River at Conesville and Cedar Rapids, and the Iowa River at Wapello and Columbus Junction. The Omaha office of the NWS, anticipating flooding in its region as well, is pointing residents to a brochure about flooding and levees offered by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

In anticipation of flooding conditions this year, we're recommending that communities with floodwalls and associated water-control gates check those gates for ease of operation now (rather than waiting for a flood situation), and check their flood-control pumps to ensure that they're ready to start quickly when the need arises. We also have portable dams available for those communities expecting floodwaters. Portable dams offer an environmentally-friendly and quick-deployment alternative to sandbags.

March 2010
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last revised March 2010