Iowa City Press-Citizen: Flood Preparedness Forum to be Held May 30

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Johnson County residents can learn how to prepare for floods and protect against property losses at a flood awareness community meeting at 6 p.m. May 30 at the National Guard Readiness Center at 4540 Melrose Ave.

The “Don’t Test the Waters Johnson County—Community Flood Forum” is intended to provide relevant data to residents and business owners, empowering them to make informed decisions about their flood risks.

Maren Stoflet, service hydrologist with the National Weather Service, will give an overview of the National Weather Service in Iowa and flood forecasting and warnings, as well as provide flood safety tips and data on how floods have impacted Iowans.

Kris Lund, geographer for the U.S. Geological Survey, will provide residents resources to monitor and stay attuned to streamflow conditions of local streams and rivers in an overview of the USGS’ WaterWatch/WaterAlert program.

Dr. Witold Krajewski, director of the Iowa Flood Center, will share Iowa Flood Center research projects intended to provide immediate and relevant data to communities and individuals, empowering them to make informed decisions about their flood risks.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ floodplain management program planner, Ken Bouma, will discuss the new floodplain mapping program for Johnson County. These maps are currently being developed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and help residents determine the flood risk zone for their homes or businesses.

Monique Pilch, an insurance program specialist with the National Flood Insurance Program, will share information on the National Flood Insurance Program for residents to review and determine if purchasing flood insurance can help reduce their risk.

Local government officials will also share their experiences with flood preparation and mitigation efforts, including emergency preparedness tips. Dave Wilson, Johnson County Emergency Management Agency coordinator, will discuss the importance of preparing your family for a flood-related emergency, including having an emergency kit with a weather radio and an evacuation plan. He’ll also share information on the Code Red notification system.

Rick Fosse, director of public works for the City of Iowa City, will give an update on the city’s flood recovery and mitigation projects, including work completed since the 2008 Flood and projects that are currently underway.

Following the presentations, a panel made up of the presenters—plus Kevin Landwehr, chief of hydrology and hydraulics for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District—will be available to answer questions from community members.