Iowa prepares for floods
Iowa, through partnerships with public and private entities, has developed several flood management strategies to help communities protect and recover from disasters.
The state, which has a history of severe flooding, developed two flood management tool kits to help mitigate disaster. The Flood Response Toolkit provides local government leaders with outreach materials, emergency planning information, recovery tools and information on securing mitigation funding.
The Iowa Community Rating System toolkit helps officials determine whether their flood insurance can be reduced by upping floodplain management standards. The toolkit provides management tips and a walkthrough of the application process.
The toolkits recently received the Association of State Floodplain Managers’ Tom Lee State Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management.
The Iowa Flood Center is also planning to install 50 new stream stage sensors across the state. According to Iowa Now, these sensors came at the request of local governments, emergency managers and citizens. The sensors will help local leaders monitor waterways and have advanced warning when floods are coming.
“The more information we have about water levels in area creeks, the better we can respond to emergent events, such as flash floods,” Jon Durst, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, sewer superintendent told Iowa Now. “The information gathered from the Prairie Creek gauge will also help us develop more accurate flood response plans and create better policies to help prevent property damage.”
The sensors work by using ultrasonic waves to measure the depths of waters every 15 minutes, according to ABC9 News. The sensors can give municipalities three or four hours of warning that high waters are on the way.
Each sensor costs approximately $3,500 to install, according to the TV station. The state already has around 170 sensors managed by the Iowa Flood Center, a non-profit group. Funding for the new sensors will come from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
To learn more about the sensors, watch the video below.