By Cornelia F. Mutel
In June 2008, the rivers of jap Iowa rose above their banks to create floods of epic proportions; their notable size—flowing in locations at a expense approximately double that of the former checklist flood—and the rapidity in their upward push ruined farmlands and displaced millions of citizens and thousands of companies. In Cedar Rapids, the waters inundated greater than 9 sq. miles of the downtown quarter; in Iowa urban, the place the flood used to be additionally the main damaging in background, the collage of Iowa’s arts campus used to be destroyed. by way of delivering an exceptional base of clinical and technical info provided with strange readability and a wealth of helping illustrations, the members to this far-reaching booklet, a lot of whom dealt firsthand with the 2008 floods, offer an in depth roadmap of the factors and results of destiny devastating floods. The twenty-five essays fall clearly into 4 sections. “Rising Rivers, Spreading Waters” starts off via evaluating the 2008 floods with the midwestern floods of 1993, strikes directly to hint group responses to the 2008 floods, and ends through illuminating suggestions for forecasting floods and opting for their dimension and frequency. “Why the following, Why Now?” searches for attainable reasons of the 2008 floods and of flooding in most cases: annual vegetation and concrete landscapes, inflows into and releases from reservoirs, and weather swap. “Flood Damages, Flood charges, Flood advantages” considers the advanced mixture of flood charges and results, emphasizing damages to towns and farmlands in addition to power merits to ordinary groups and archaeological websites. “Looking again, having a look ahead” lays out methods to coping with the floods of the longer term which are certain to come. whereas the booklet attracts so much of its examples from one specific zone, it explains flooding all through a far higher region—the midwestern Corn Belt—and therefore its sobering but energizing classes practice well past jap Iowa. by means of analyzing the relationships between rivers, floodplains, climate, and glossy society; via stressing concerns of technology and truth instead of social or coverage matters; and by way of addressing a number of environmental difficulties and merits, A Watershed 12 months informs and educates all those that skilled the 2008 floods and all these enthusiastic about the bigger motives of flooding.
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Extra resources for A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008 (Bur Oak Book)
But certain weather conditions—like a stationary front between warmer and cooler air masses—allow thunderstorms to repeatedly develop and dump heavy rainfall over the same region (Chappell 1986). With the slowly changing weather patterns typical of summer, thunderstorms developing over the span of several days can produce large rainfall accumulations. Such events are responsible for the late spring/early summer (June) peak in Iowa floods (see figure 1-1). The drainage area of a river (the land area that contributes water to its flow) also plays a significant role in the timing of floods.
Meanwhile, the Museum of Art implemented its disaster plan, preparing items to be transported off campus. Tuesday, June 10: The Coralville Reservoir topped the dam’s emergency spillway, and university officials evacuated the Arts Campus. Wednesday, June 11: Water began backing up into the Arts Campus (figure 4-1). S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps’) flood projections, 40â•… rising rivers, spreading waters FIGURE 4-1â•‡ Photograph of the University of Iowa Arts Campus taken June 16, when the Iowa River stage was around 31 feet, nine feet above flood stage.
Due to flooding from within. Water infiltrated the utility tunnels adjacent to the river and despite desperate efforts to stop the flow, the Power Plant took on more than 21 feet of standing water (figure 4-2). 9-mile underground system that provides steam throughout the campus, contributed to flooding in several buildings along the river. Utilities staff began a roundthe-clock effort to construct two miniature power plants, one on each side of the river, from parts delivered from around the country.