On February 23rd, Dr. Keith Schilling (Iowa DNR & Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa) gave an interesting talk about flooding in the Cedar River basin. Here is the summary of the talk from the flyer:

In 2008, flow in the Cedar River at Cedar Rapids reached 140,000 cubic feet per second, more than double the previous record set in 1961, and inundated over nine square miles of the downtown area. Likewise throughout the rest of Iowa, 85 of Iowa’s 99 counties were declared federal disaster areas by FEMA in 2008 due to historic floods. While precipitation patterns certainly deserve a large part of the blame, changing watershed characteristics, such as land use, tile drainage and urbanization, also played an important role in the occurrence and severity of flooding. In this talk, Dr. Keith Schilling presented the watershed factors contributing to changing streamflow patterns and flooding in Iowa. Results from recent watershed modeling were presented that suggest that land use changes have potential for reducing flood risk in basins dominated by agriculture.

The slides from Dr. Schilling’s talk are available for viewing here: Schilling Flood Talk @ Coe College.

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