Forecast Has Univ. of Iowa Increasing Flood Preparations

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

Workers from Mccomas-Lacina Construction build a temporary flood wall around the Art Building West Wednesday, May 29, 2013 on the University of Iowa campus as the Army Corps of Engineers begins to release more water from the Coralville Dam. As outflows from the dam increase low lying areas along the Iowa River in Iowa City will begin to flood. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Forrest Saunders

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The potential of two to four inches of rain later this week and releases of up to 20,000 CFS (cubic feet per second) from the Coralville Reservoir has University of Iowa officials doubling their flood mitigation tactics.

"With this new information and to remain proactive, we are increasing our protection efforts on campus," said UI Director of Planning, Design & Construction Rod Lehnertz.

Flood projections, Tuesday, had the university starting the evacuation of 84 people from Mayflower dorm, and setting up flood barriers for at least three UI buildings.

Now, at least 12 UI buildings are getting some form of flood protection, including HESCO barriers, sandbags, and flood walls.

The university will also be shutting down the arts campus as of Friday at five p.m. Art Building West, the Theater Building and the art museum will all be locked down until further notice. An inconvenience for those inside.

"Basically, everything is going out," said UI Student Caly Crouch.

Music students have started clearing out van loads of instruments from their temporary work space at the art museum.

"We just did a one week tour of northern Iowa and we just unloaded everything into the building about three days ago. Now, we're taking it all back out," said Music Student Tyler Swick.

For folks at the Theater Building, flood waters could be a show stopper. The Iowa Summer Rep. has shows through July and they don't know where they'll perform it their building is surrounded by water.

"That question has come up all day. And we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," said Stage Manager Colin Bieker.

The university says campus operations are continuing as scheduled.

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