Lessons learned: cities gear up for possible floods - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lessons learned: cities gear up for possible floods

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - Cities along Iowa's waterways have worked to guard against future flooding after the disasters of 2008.

FEMA grants have helped pay for mitigation efforts.

Technology will help at least one eastern Iowa city prepare in case waters rise once more.

In Waterloo, city leaders say they've made several improvements to protect against future flooding. It includes pumps and supplies but one measure already in use, a sandbagging machine.

City officials say the machine can fill four sandbags at once.

It reduces the need for shovels and speeds up the process.

However, it doesn't reduce the need for volunteers.

"We obviously need volunteers. We will always need volunteers in a major event but with this new machine we've purchased, we can pound those things out and there's a rate I'm not sure of but it's significantly more quick and efficient than it was in 08," said Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark.

The city already has about 20 pallettes of sandbags on hand.

They say they don't want to be caught unprepared if the waters rises.

"I'm very confident that we will respond in a very responsible way and deal with the floods to the best of our ability this time," said Clark.

Along with the sandbag machine, the city bought a 12-inch pump along Blowers Creek on the eastern city limits.

It's also approved a contract to repair the floodgates on Fletcher Avenue along Blackhawk Creek.

The city has also removed railroad gate closures on Black Hawk Creek at Westfield Avenue.

Online Anchor/ReporterBob Waters

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