Des Moines Levee Breaks… Iowa City Campus Buildings Submerged
Early this morning, the Des Moines River breached a levee protecting the Birdland neighborhood and North High School in Des Moines, Iowa. An emergency wall built to contain that overflow gave way at 7:45 this morning. A mandatory evacuation of the area was called for after the breach was discovered- WHOTV.
North High School campus is flooded by the Des Moines River Saturday, June 14, 2008 after a levee broke in Des Moines. (Des Moines Register)
24,000 were forced to flee from Cedar Rapids.
The water crested in Cedar Rapids, Iowa today.
The dark, filthy water that inundated the entire downtown of Iowa’s second-largest city was receding Saturday after forcing 24,000 people to flee, but those who remained were being urged to take draconian measures to avoid overwhelming the city’s only remaining drinking water source.
A sandbagging siege saved the last of the city’s four collection wells from contamination by the record flood. But officials warned that if people didn’t cut back on flushing toilets, taking showers and other nonessential uses, the town would be out of potable water in three to four days.
“Water is still our primary concern,” said Pat Ball, the city’s utilities director. “We’re still using water at a greater rate than we’re producing.”
Closed downtown Des Moines bridges stand nearly under water on the Des Moines River Saturday, June 14, 2008. (Des Moines Register)
To the east of Des Moines the major flooding has not hit Iowa City yet but already the new University of Iowa Arts Buildings are half under water.
The rivers are expected to crest in Iowa City on Monday or Tuesday.
The Des Moines Register reported:
Even before the expected surge over the next few days, it is apparent that massive sandbagging efforts west of the river have proven futile. A person could swim in many of the relatively new, multi-million-dollar arts campus buildings.
Only the top half of the Old Art Building is sticking out of the water. Art Building West, whose acclaimed architecture came at a $22 million price tag when it was opened in September 2006, has a stream flowing through its ground floor, to say nothing of the basement. Water is approximately waist-high at the Museum of Art.
Upstream, floodwaters are approximately chest high around the first floor of the university’s massive fine-arts performance complex, which encompasses the Theatre Building, Hancher Auditorium, and the Voxman Music Building.
Iowa City is south and east of Cedar Rapids.
The confluence of the flooding from the Raccoon River (bottom) and the Des Moines River Saturday, June 14, 2008 in Des Moines. (Des Moines Register)
Senator John McCain issued a statement today on the flooding in Iowa.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by the flooding throughout the Midwest,” he said in a statement Saturday. “Cindy and I would like to extend our sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones, and stand ready to help those in the Midwest to recover and rebuild.”