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Techniques to Battle Flooding in the Midwest

Eric Thompson, PE, CFM | with 0 Comments


Techniques to Battle Flooding in the Midwest

Background
According to a study done by researchers at the University of Iowa, flood frequency has increased throughout the Midwest. This is due to changes in seasonal rainfall and temperature and is resulting in economic losses and displaced residents and communities.
 
Increased flooding also can have detrimental effects on community infrastructure, as experienced throughout the Cedar River watershed in the recent floods of 2008, 2013, and 2014
 
Case Studies
At MSA, we have worked on a number of planning development projects in Iowa communities to aid in damages to infrastructure as a result of flooding.
 
In 2008, the City of Adair sustained severe flood damage that impaired its aging sewage infrastructure. MSA worked with the city council to repair the damaged sewage system while both increasing system capacity and decreasing the overall operation costs.
 
Two years later, MSA worked with the City of Dubuque on a project to design and construct a 90-acre-foot stormwater detention facility to serve approximately 1,200 acres of the city.  MSA and the city were awarded the 2010 Iowa American Council of Engineering Companies Chapter Honor Award for Engineering Excellence in the Special Projects category for this project.  
 
More recently, we helped the City of Elkader plan a major flood recovery effort for their downtown area. Public and private entities participated in the planning effort and have transformed downtown Elkader into a growing recreational center.
 
How Communities Can Prevent Flood Damage
It is a common adage that you can’t prevent floods; however, with good planning, we can prevent flood damage. At a minimum, we recommend that cities conduct flood studies to predict the depth and frequency that flooding will occur so that future development is kept out of these areas.  These studies can also identify existing infrastructure that may be susceptible to damage from flood events; cities should inventory these facilities and conduct projects to increase flood resilience of critical features.
 
Learn More
For more information on our projects in Iowa, contact Eric Thompson or visit our Iowa projects section. 

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