Remembering the Floods of 2008
One year later the floods of 2008 relived on Iowa DOT's Web site
AMES, Iowa June 12, 2009 June 2008 is a month in Iowa history that will not soon be forgotten. It was June 4, 2008, when the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its first road closure due to the flooding. In the weeks that followed, the flood waters continued to devastate everything in their path, causing unimaginable damage to our roadways, bridges, railroads, trails, and transit systems.
In remembrance of this tragic and destructive event, the Iowa DOT has launched an online digital collection of 1,255 photos it amassed during and after the floods. Complete with a searchable gallery, the site offers images from various locations across the state.
This photo collection tells the story of what ultimately resulted in the complete destruction of or major damage to an estimated 125 miles of Iowa's primary road system. Nearly 250 other primary highways suffered varying degrees of damage. In total, the Iowa DOT closed 441 miles of primary highways at some point during the event.
For many, the collection will bring back memories of the multi-day closure of Interstate 80 in Cedar County, which began June 12. Flood waters forced travelers to take a lengthy detour around the flooded eastern Iowa area. Not far behind that closure was Interstate 380, which left local residents scrambling for alternatives.
A total of $31.7 million in claims have been filed with the Federal Highway Administration as part of their Emergency Relief Program, which funds repairs and mitigation projects for federal-aid eligible roadways. Those claims represent damage to systems under the jurisdiction of the Iowa DOT, Department of Natural Resources, railroads, counties, and cities.
Damages to the federal-aid roadways were highest in the following four counties:
Linn County - $4,712,216
Muscatine County - $4,128,587
Allamakee County - $3,023,784
Louisa County - $2,149,878
In addition to the federal-aid eligible roadways, other transportation systems in Iowa were significantly affected by the floods including: miles of city streets and county roads; railroad tracks, bridges, cars, and yards; transit agencies and their vehicles; and nearly 40 multi-purpose trails.
Recovery by these systems continues today. Funding announcements include: $105 million within I-JOBS; nearly $9.6 million from the Federal Railroad Administration for repairs to three railroads; $880,000 from the Public Transit Infrastructure Grant Program for construction of new transit facilities in Coralville; and State/FEMA Public Assistance funding for repairs to damaged public infrastructure.