Sunday, June 15, 2008

University of Iowa Threatened By Flood Waters


The campus of the University of Iowa is being protected by a makeshift levee that has taken about all of the stress it can take:

Iowa City, Ia. -- University of Iowa President Sally Mason said efforts to sandbag and defend the campus from rising flood waters will be completed this afternoon.

After that, Mason said, little more can or will be done.

“This is our last effort,” said Mason, surveying the massive sand-bagging effort this afternoon on Madison Street, one block east of the Iowa River.

University officials estimated that one-eighth of the campus already has been directly impacted by flood water, with an expected crest of the swollen Iowa River on Tuesday.

“We should be done by 5 this afternoon, and then all we can do is wait,” Mason said today. “We will have done all we can.”

The Iowa River had caused major damage by Saturday even though the crest was at least two days away. The river is expected to reach 33 feet to 34 feet late Monday or early Tuesday, far above the 25-foot flood stage.

Only one bridge connecting the east and west sides of downtown Iowa City remained open, and officials said it may have to be closed this weekend.

The Iowa River surged another 2 feet in just 12 hours into Friday, forcing the University of Iowa to shut down the power plant that provides service to the University of Iowa Hospitals and other university buildings.

A massive sandbagging operation was taking place on Madison St. on the U of I campus. Hundreds of students and volunteers turned out to help.


Map of affected area:

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