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UI Iowa Flood Center Shows Major Strides On Cedar Rapids 5 Year Flood Anniversary

IOWA CITY, IA (KGAN/KFXA) - As Eastern Iowa marks the five year anniversary of the 2008 floods, the University of Iowa’s Flood Center is celebrating success.

Recent flooding gave the center its first opportunity to test flood inundation maps on their website,

Larry Weber, Director of IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering that houses Iowa Flood Center, said that in 2008 the center had a stream of calls where folks inquired to see how flood waters would affect them. That meant quick engineering calculations to help guide folks as to whether their homes and neighborhoods were threatened by flooding.

"Today, rather than having to do that in a hurry, with greater uncertainty, we’re able to say we’ve already calculated all those, go to our website," Weber said.

Associate Director of the Iowa Flood Center, Nate Young’s team helped create the website. They started mapping the cities hit hardest by the floods. Users can type in the predicted river level and then the maps will forecast what rising waters could mean in each neighborhood.

"None of the communities that we have mapped following 2008 have really experienced significant flooding prior to this event so its been a good test of this system," Young said referring to recent flooding.

So far the Iowa Flood Center has mapped 11 Iowa cities. Each city takes about six months to integrate into the system. So far the response has been positive.

"Everyone is very happy with the interface," Young said.

To learn more about the Iowa Flood Center, click here.

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