Iowa Flood Center studying western Iowa floods


July 4th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Researchers at the Iowa Flood Center are studying the western Iowa flooding from above to help them in developing floodplain maps for the state. Iowa Flood Center Director Witold (Vee-told) Krajewski says they are working with other University of Iowa researchers to get pictures of the flooding. He says they are taking high-resolution pictures of the river flying on both sides along the edge of the water. Krajewski says the pictures are important as they move ahead with the work they’re doing.

Krajewski says they’ll use the photos as a reference in their numerical model development of the floodplains. He says they can they will use the photos along with the terrain information that’s available to develop the floodplain map.  He says the state has very detailed terrain data from flights commissioned by the state a few years ago. Krajewski says in the case of the western Iowa flooding, they pretty much know how much water is flowing from upstream. Krajewski says they’ll be able to use the photo and terrain data to set the boundaries of the floodwaters and then compare them with existing floodplain maps. They then can update the maps to reflect the new information. The state flood center has been in operation for two years and there is now a proposal for a national flood center. Krajewski thinks it’s a good idea to get all agencies working together on the issue.

Krajewski says the agencies come together when something is happening, but he thinks the most important time to make progress is between the floods. He says the national center could work on this and be ready to apply what they have learned when there is a flood event. The proposal by Representative Tom Latham of Iowa would create a National Flood Research and Education Consortium including many federal, state and local organizations under the leadership of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as a National Flood Center.

(Dar Danielson/Radio Iowa)