IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) — Flooding in Iowa is a risk many face every year.
Luckily, the only academic-based flood research center in the nation is located in the Corridor providing information in real time to help prepare for massive flood events like the 2008 and 2016 floods.
Thursday, the Iowa Flood Center says they anticipate a normal flood season, but flooding is highly unpredictable.
In just the past 30 years severe flooding in Iowa resulted in nearly one thousand presidential disaster declarations.
The Iowa Flood Center just revealed their newest tool in tracking major flood-prone areas.
The hazard calculator allows individuals to analyze the long term risks.
“So for example for a 100 year flood, you can select the duration of 30 years which is the typical mortgage and for that scenario you can expect to have a 26% chance of experiencing a flood in that area over a 30 year period.
The Flood Center also boasted their upgraded Inundation maps revealing flood predictions that allow agencies and individuals to take action and plan for the worst.
With the flood of 2008 fresh in their minds, Cedar Rapids used these maps and sprang to action during the flood of 2016.
“It kept raining large amounts so it was quickly evident that there would be flooding - and my own reaction was, go to IFOS, tell people about IFIS, because with IFIS you can see even just a few hours and sometimes even less after heavy rainfall - how the streams and rivers are responding.”
The Iowa Flood Information System or IFIS is a free online tool that allows Iowans to access the latest local flood information as it happens.
“During flood events people really rely on those inundation maps to figure out whether or not they need to start taking measures to get out of their house, get somewhere safe, get out of their business, or checking up on family members.”