Flood Forum Informs Public About Continued Efforts - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Flood Forum Informs Public About Continued Efforts

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A focus on flooding. Government forecasters are calling for the possibility of spring flooding along the upper Mississippi. Thursday the public got a change to learn more about how state and local agencies deal with that. A statewide initiative called "Living With Floods" aims to raise more awareness on flood fighting planning and strategies.

"Every time we go through a flood we look at how we can respond. Is there a way to do this a little bit better, more efficiently," said Robin Dunn, Davenport Public Works Program Director.

The Davenport flood plan has 450 different items on it of what the city does depending on the water levels. The public forum Thursday was to get people more involved in all the facets.

"Really aims at creating an awareness in the community about floods and climate change and how those might impact some of the frequency of floods," added Dunn.

Nathan Young with the Iowa Flood Center says the climate is less and less predictable, therefore more difficult to plan for. But the agency has many projects underway to improve our understanding of a flood risk including the deployment of water level sensors in 130 locations in Iowa. "Really puts the information at peoples finger tips to all them to make well-informed decisions about managing their properties," said Young.

Even people down river and in smaller communities hoped to learn something. Angie Litterst is working on an emergency recovery plan for Mercer County. "We're trying to get any information we can on how other areas are dealing with flooding and Davenport obviously deals with that also. So we're just seeing what they're up to," she said.

Some of the future planning Davenport is up to includes utilizing things like berms farther West on the riverfront as a way to more efficiently manage the high waters that can so easily impact the community.

"It's always going to be something we have to deal with. Mother Nature rules and we can't control it all the time. So at some point we have to live with it and co-exist with the flooding," said Davenport resident Karen Wilke.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its spring outlook Thursday. The melting of late-season snow may cause minor to moderate flooding in the upper Mississippi river basin. Spring flood risk is still highly dependent on rainfall and the speed of snow melt.