Iowa Flood Center to install more sensors for river/creek levels - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Flood Center to install more sensors for river/creek levels

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LINN COUNTY (KWWL) - Flooding is a concern for so many cities in eastern Iowa.

Following the record floods of 2008, the Iowa Flood Center saw a need for more monitoring of river and creek levels and have been installing sensors since.

What that means is that people will have a better idea of creek and river levels and it will help cities revise their flood preparation plans, helping those who are so often affected by flooding.

"Prairie Creek is ungauged," said Dan Ceynar, Engineer with the Iowa Flood Center. "At this point there was no information about what was coming into the Cedar from this watershed."

Until now.

The Iowa Flood Center just installed a sensor. It will track the water levels of Prairie Creek near Fairfax.

Sensors help cities downstream. They'll get warnings of what's ahead. In Cedar Rapids, a bridge over Prairie Creek on J Street Southwest often has to close due to flooding.

"We like sensors everywhere," said Ceynar. "It's benefiting everybody. The more we understand about this creek and this watershed, information added by this gauge is going to benefit Fairfax as well."

Cedar Rapids officials say having accurate records can help them make changes to the way the city prepares for floods, meaning they may be able to prevent closures in the future.

"Creeks are very much influenced by heavy rains, and so being able to monitor that is a plus for us," said Jon Durst, Sewer Superintendent for the City of Cedar Rapids.

The Iowa Flood Center has already put up more than 150 sensors across Iowa. Around 50 are being installed this fall. Several other groups also have gauges on Iowa waterways.

You can view information from all of the Iowa Flood Center sensors on its website.

You can also give them feedback on that site -- even recommend locations for future sensors.

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