Saturday, July 31, 2021

Play

Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

Play

Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

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
In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


Environment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …


Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

 

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