Inflatable dam saves town from flooding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Inflatable dam saves town from flooding

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

Parts of eastern Iowa are working hard to clean up after flooding. The town of Waverly experienced some flooding late last week, but the city administrator says the town was prepared for the rising Cedar River.

The inflatable dam in Waverly was unrecognizable last week as it was covered by the Cedar River. The water level is down and the dam is now clearly visible today.

"It certainly saved this area, at the highest part of the flooding here, and the water barely came onto the street in front of the church," said Pastor Joyce Sandberg, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Waverly.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church sits right across from the river and is no stranger to flooding.

"In 2008 the river came all the way up to that building and went into the church nearly to the top of the stairs," said Sandberg.

Since the floods of 2008, the city installed an inflatable dam and a dry run to help with flooding.

"If it wasn't for that dam, we'd have another five feet on top of what we had and it would have been through most parts of the city again," said James Bronner, Waverly City Administrator.

Bronner calls the inflatable dam a hero. He says the dam and the dry run saved the city of Waverly from massive amounts of flooding.

"I think the heroes are all the people who put their heads together and did some careful thought and planning," said Sandberg.  "There were a lot of discussion in the city, but people provided some really effective flood mitigation, I think it made the flood in Waverly much easier," said Sandberg.

The Waverly Cedar River Dam is protecting 450 homes and businesses from the near-record flood. Pastor Sandberg is hopeful other small towns can learn from what Waverly has done.

The city administrator says no homes have been affected by the river water and all of the flooding was caused by ground water.    

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