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UI Rolls Out Full Flood Prep Plan

Updated: Wednesday, May 29 2013, 08:53 PM CDT
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The University of Iowa is beginning to unroll its full flood protection plan, in anticipation of water levels that could be twice as high next week as they were on Wednesday. 
Early next week, the Army Corps of Engineers could completely open the gates at the Coralville Lake, letting 20,000 cu ft/s gush beyond the dam and putting areas like the UI Arts Campus under water. 
"That being the case, we're following our plan and taking much more aggressively the protection of the campus and protection of campus facilities," said Rod Lehnertz, director of Planning Design & Construction in UI Facilities Management. 
Here's what the plan looks like: 

  • The university is putting a 12' high, three barrier-wide Hesco wall in front of the Mayflower Residence Hall. The construction started on Tuesday. 
  • By 5:00 p.m. Friday, Art Building West will be protected with an invisible wall, the Theater and Museum buildings will be closed, and the music program will be emptied. 
  • The asbestos abatement program happening in Hancher Auditorium will be protected. 
  • A Hesco wall will be built around the Iowa Advanced Technology Lab. 
"The likelihood of a quick return to those buildings is not good," said Lehnertz. 
In 2008, the university was in a flood stage of a month-and-a-half, but Lehnertz said all the affected programs will be relocated in the meantime.
It took only the push of a few buttons to make people in the flood plane, including the university, a lot more cautious. 
Coralville Lake Operations Manager Dee Goldman opened the three gates controlling water output to increase the flow to 10,000 cubic feet per second on Wednesday morning, and will increase the flow to 12,000 cubic feet person second on Thursday and 14,000 cubic feet person second on Friday.
Whether or not the lake reaches 20,000 cubic feet per second is up to Mother Nature. 
"We just kind of go day by day,seeing what amounts of rainfall that happens, where that rainfall is located,and what that may cause us to do," Goldman said. 
Goldman does expect the lake to crest the spillway on June 7, and Lehnertz said flooding at the university is almost certain.UI Rolls Out Full Flood Prep Plan


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