Cedar River named the fifth most endangered river for 2010 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar River named the fifth most endangered river for 2010

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- Two years after the flood, the conservation group American Rivers announced Wednesday the Cedar River is the country's fifth most endangered river for 2010.

Andrew Fahlund with American Rivers said the Cedar River has gone through two "500 year floods" in less than 15 years, which has put considerable pressure on the river and thrown off the flood plane.

"This report indicates that more must be done for flood management to protect our farmers, homeowners, businesses, community members and river," said Congressman Dave Loebsack in response to the announcement.

According to Fahlund, typical flood control such as building levees is said to only heighten the problem, because these walls pinch the river and cause the water level to increase.  Fahlund says this method is also expensive and does not completely ensure success.

Conservationists, like American Rivers, are proposing more natural ways to deal with the impending flood waters.  Wetland restoration is one method that will restore the natural flood plane and the ability of the ground to soak up water.  Another plan to restore the flood plane is to move levees back from the river to allow room for movement.

"By focusing on non-structural options for flood control in certain sections of the Cedar River, we can augment the structural protections that are being examined," Loebsack said.

A press conference will be held in Cedar Rapids near the tree of Five Seasons at noon to discuss possible solutions.  Speakers will include the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and representatives from the state.

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