University of Iowa takes flood preparedness measures - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa takes flood preparedness measures

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The university is preparing for the worst -- ensuring that it is ready for any potential flooding. The university is preparing for the worst -- ensuring that it is ready for any potential flooding.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

With all the recent rains, Coralville Lake is filling up quickly and the Army Corps of Engineers plans to up the flow out of the lake into the Iowa River.

That has officials at the University of Iowa keeping a close eye on the river and putting flood plans into place.

The Corps announced Tuesday it would be ramping up its discharge rate at the Coralville Dam to 10,000 cubic feet per second -- a level the Corps is projecting to hold through the lake's crest.

It remains to be seen if the weather cooperates.

"The biggest unknown at this point is what happens with future rainfall, so it's very difficult to predict," said Larry Weber with the Iowa Flood Center.

It was quite a scene Tuesday on the University of Iowa campus.

The university is preparing for the worst -- ensuring that it is ready for any potential flooding.

"We are remaining proactive, and we are remaining careful rather than sorry in our projections," said Rod Lehnertz with University of Iowa Facilities Management.

Some 84 people staying at Mayflower Residence Hall are being evacuated to another dormitory.

"I'm definitely worried because we'll be spending most of our time in the dorm," said Kirubel Hailu, who was staying in Mayflower.

Temporary flood protection is being set up around buildings in the campus' low-lying areas, including Art Building West, which was the first major project to come back from 2008's flood.

"That building calls for the assembly of what we call an invisible wall," Lehnertz said. "We will begin to assemble that system."

One certainty is that Lower City Park will flood.

The City of Iowa City is moving out its amusement park rides there ahead of the rising river levels.

Officials hope that's the worst that comes from all of the heavy rains.

"The success of that plan is contingent on not getting a significant rain in the next two weeks," said Rick Fosse, public works director for Iowa City.

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