Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action in after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to the U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

Iowa Hot and Dry, But Flood Prevention Efforts Continue

Play

Monday, June 14, 2021   

SHELL ROCK, Iowa -- Scorching temperatures with little rain might not prompt public fears about flooding, but that isn't stopping leaders in northeastern Iowa from preparing for the next deluge.

More than 1.6 million Iowans currently live in drought areas, but given the region's previous battles with floods, 16 county, city and other governmental agencies have formed a coalition to address concerns along the Shell Rock River.

Larry Young, mayor of Shell Rock, said his city has taken on mitigation efforts such as removing homes from the flood plain, but it's not always effective if surrounding agencies aren't on the same page. Young feels the coalition deals with the problem.

"You got everybody knowing what everybody else is doing, and that's a real plus in a situation like a flood," Young remarked.

He pointed out the river is a vital asset to surrounding communities, and keeping the waters from overflowing serves everyone's best interests. The coalition becomes Iowa's 27th group of local governments and agencies coming together to strategize about flood prevention. Advocates in the legislature pushed for more state funding this session to enhance such local efforts, but the request fell short.

Those helping to create these coalitions say if enough of them are established, it will build a strong line of defense against widespread flooding.

Cody Smith, policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, said that means you might not see images of catastrophic flooding like that in western Iowa in 2019, when the Missouri River spilled over its banks.

"If something they can do at the top part of a watershed can help reduce the amount of water being lost rapidly in a rain event to that river's system, then they could really advantage communities that are below them," Smith explained.

In a summer when drought concerns are prevalent, Smith noted flood management efforts are just as important. Those involved aren't just planning for the next flood, they're looking at a range of scenarios.

"They look at water quantity as well as water quality," Smith pointed out. "And that doesn't always mean flooding. Sometimes, it means how do we manage our soil moisture better in times of drought. "

He added coalitions strive to make waterways less polluted. With Shell Rock listed as an impaired river, he expects the coalition to consider ways to improve the quality of the water, and not just manage its levels.

Disclosure: Center for Rural Affairs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Rural/Farming issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Gas prices are higher on average in western Montana than they are in eastern Montana. (Vinícius Bacarin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

Social Issues

Advocates are contending the New York State Senate is not doing enough to lower the price of prescription drugs. Recently, lawmakers dropped bills …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021