Flood Potential for Iowa

Iowa Department of Transportation snow-blower like plow tries to keep the shoulder clean of Highway 20 in Grundy County, Iowa.
All of this snow has to go somewhere, right?
Or does it?
What is our flood potential for a top 10 record snow fall and its eventual melt?

There are a lot questions surrounding the snow fall of 2009-10.

The big question for this week’s Iowa Journal is what is our flood potential for the rest of this year? Have any changes been made since the flood of 2008?

This is not a welcome topic for those of you in Cedar Rapids, Waverly, Cedar Falls, Mason City, Columbus Junction… need I go on?

The immediate answer to the question is: It depends. It depends how fast of a warm up and melt we have. It depends if we get more rain this spring. It depends if flood prevention measures since 2008 work. Will those new mitigation efforts work? Will more land in wetland protection hold back the water on the land and not end up so quickly into streams, rivers and downtowns?

We’ve heard the National Weather Service warn that Iowa is at risk for significant flooding this spring. That sounds more positive than what the NWS is saying Fargo, ND where they are dealing with a “keg of dynamite” of flood potential.

I just got back from looking at producer Nancy Crowfoot’s piece. You’ll see some familiar shots of flooding and snow, but we’ll be talking with David Miller, administrator for the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division with responsibilities for coordinating the State’s response to disasters; Kamyar Enshayan, city council member for Cedar Falls, whose town suffered in the 2008 floods, and who helped instigate plans to help safeguard the town during future floods; and Marty Adkins, of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, whose office has a floodplain easement program to pay some qualified landowners who want to discontinue farming land with chronic flooding.

You can read the full release here, which includes two other posts about this topic.

The Journal Monkey will be taking your questions here before 2 tomorrow.
Our show airs in HD, not quite as pretty as the Olympics, at 8p Thursday, 630p on Friday and 830a on IPTV World on Saturday.

Last week we talked about Unemployed in Iowa. You can learn more about the show and watch it by clicking on this link.

Next week we’ll be looking at how getting refugees to Iowa just got a whole lot harder. We’ll be featuring a group of Iraqi musicians who are here in the state. On March 4th, we’ll look the state of Iowa’s Mental Health issue.

Thank you for the time.

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