Flood Resilience Program
Community Flood Resilience
As the Flood Resilience program has developed, our team has collaborated with local planning organizations within the IWA watersheds to develop community-wide flood resilience action plans. Further information about these efforts are below organized by individual watersheds. Please follow the IWA website calendar and IWA Facebook page for event notifications.
Upper Iowa Watershed (Freeport) –
- In August 2016, Freeport an unincorporated community adjacent to the city of Decorah suffered devasting floods. The community experienced eight to fourteen inches of rain within 24 hours. The physical, fiscal, personal, environmental, and social challenges of this flood were felt by most members of the community and still impact the lives of many to this day. The Iowa Watershed Approach Flood Resilience team contracted with professors and students from Luther College Center for Sustainable Communities whom spent two summers (2017, 2018) collaborating and interviewing community members and professionals about their experiences in the 2016 flood. Recommendations were made and then presented at an open house community event in Freeport and Winneshiek County. Follow this link to review the full report, Community Flood Resilience in Freeport.
Middle Cedar Watershed (Vinton)
- Iowa’s small community of Vinton (population 5,093) is located in Benton County and is within the HUC-8 Middle Cedar River Watershed. Vinton has a history of repetitive flooding that has created economic and social hardship. The flood events Vinton experienced in 2008 and 2016 were both part of major presidential disaster declarations. Vinton was selected to be included in the Iowa Watershed Approach’s Flood Resilience Program. The flood resilience program team collaborated with Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) to conduct community engagement, and facilitate public conversations. This effort was executed between October 2018 to October 2019. You may read more about this project at www.floodresilientvinton.com and the final community flood resilience action plan will be available June 2020.
Upper Wapsipinicon Watershed (Quasqueton)
- The Northeast Iowa RC&D (NEIARCD) serves at the watershed planner and project coordinator for the Upper Wapsipinicon WMA. During the watershed planning process it was determined that the community of Quasqueton would benefit from additional localized stormwater planning. The FRT further contracted with the NEIARCD to complete a community flood resilience action plan (FRAP) for Quasqueton. This plan will engage community leaders and residents to build capacity for flood resilience. This will look like small and large group meetings, events and open houses, community tours, direct mailings, and other outreach and communication developments. The FRAP will serve as guide for the community, identify goals, strategies, tools, partners, and financial resources to build flood resiliency. This report will be a great example to other small communities across Iowa on successes and challenges to engaging a small community around water resource challenges. This work is set to be complete by July 2021.
Clear Creek Watershed (Coralville)
- In the fall of 2019 the IWA FRT contracted with Astig Planning, LLC and their co-collaborators at the Coralville Food Pantry, Impact 7G, and the Global Food Project of Iowa City to develop a community flood resilience action plan (FRAP) for the community of Coralville. This partner collaboration will result with a community led FRAP that connects and empowers residents that have been disproportionally and negatively impacted by floods. The FRAP will include stories, experiences and vision of those most vulnerable to flood impacts. The approach is a four-phase approach of exploration, outreach and education, identifying strategies and delivering a final plan. Much of these phases include elements from the ISET Climate Resilience Framework. This project is set to be complete by the end of December 2020. Follow this project at www.floodresilientcoralville.com.