The University of IowaAnnual Report 2008-09


Mitigation group boasts expertise from across campus

Larry Weber, Engineering professor

Shortly after the flood event from last year, it was clear that the University was embarking on a very long process for recovering from the flood. The president’s office felt it was important to bring together a committee or task force to help to communicate all the various aspects related to flood recovery.

The makeup of the task force is by nature very broad-ranging, from people around campus—some of those very closely impacted by the flood, others perhaps not so closely impacted but having expertise in some areas: planning or engineering or science that may be beneficial to the discussion. Most certainly everybody on the committee is quite engaged in flood mitigation work.

The flood mitigation task force is very interested in still maintaining a close connectivity with people and the river. We’re very aware of the types of mitigation and the impact it could have on sight lines on campus.

There are several options. One would be long levees and high walls along the river, which is not an option that is very appealing to many people. Another would be to have more active flood response technologies like invisible floodwalls that have the foundational elements built into the sidewalk and can be erected very quickly as flood barriers during flood times. These are concepts that the mitigation task force and consultants hired by the University are looking at very closely.