JOHNSON COUNTY — Officials in Johnson County want to see changes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s lake management plan after another round of flooding.
“The present regulatory tools provided to the Corps are very outdated and do not reflect current information,” county officials wrote in a letter to Corps leaders urging them to seek funding to study the Iowa River basin, which could lead to regulatory changes. Coralville Lake is a federally controlled dam system on the river, which can provide relief to the Cedar and Mississippi Rivers during flood events.
“The Corps, they’re experts, this is their area of expertise, we have a lot of faith in their ability to do this,” said county supervisor Rod Sullivan. “But to some point they get a little hamstrung with the plan they have.”
Local officials say the current water management plan at the lake hasn’t been revised since 1995.
Corps officials also move too quickly to raise the lake ahead of the summer recreation season, according to Marvin Hochstedler, who has been flooded out of his home along the Iowa River multiple times since moving in back in the 1960s.
Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers in Rock Island said they have asked for money to study the river and lake in recent years, but it has been denied during the budgeting process. They said Congress needs to help allocate the funds in order to proceed.
“I’m tired of national politicians moving in during these floods, and then disappearing when it dries up,” said supervisor Janelle Rettig.