Flood Awareness Community Meeting in Des Moines
Des Moines, IA – Polk County residents can learn how to prepare for floods and protect against property losses at a flood awareness community meeting on June 8. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan E. Voss, along with interagency partners, invites residents to heighten their flood awareness at 7 p.m. in the Des Moines Botanical Center’s Oak-Willow Room, located at 909 Robert D. Ray Drive.
“This meeting presents a good opportunity for citizens to get an update on flood mitigation efforts from our national, state and local officials, including increasing the height of the new Birdland and Central Place levees,” says Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie. “I encourage you all to attend and learn how to put together a flood preparation plan for your home or business.”
The Iowa Flood Awareness Interagency Coalition’s “Don’t Test The Waters” community forum will educate residents on flood preparation efforts and resources available to them, as well as the flood protection efforts that are being provided by the federal, state and local governments.
“The Floods of 2008 caused 85 of 99 Iowa counties to be declared disaster areas, including Polk County, and flash flooding in 2010 again caused great hardship for many Polk County residents,” said Dr. Larry Weber of the Iowa Flood Center.
Weber will share Iowa Flood Center research projects intended to provide immediate and relevant data to communities and individuals, empowering them to make informed decisions about their flood risks.
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Bill Cappuccio of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) floodplain management program will discuss the new flood maps for Polk County that are currently being developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He’ll also present information about the DNR’s mapping efforts that use state-of-the-art technology to provide even more accurate maps in the future. The maps help residents determine the flood risk zone for their homes or businesses.
The National Weather Service’s Jeff Zogg will talk about flood forecasting and where residents can obtain forecasts as a preparation resource. Clark Patterson, representing the National Flood Insurance Program, will discuss flood insurance and provide resources for residents to determine if flood insurance is right for them.
Local government officials will also share flood preparation and protection efforts. Dan Pritchard of the Department of Public Works for the City of Des Moines will provide information on the city’s flood mitigation and response efforts, including levee system updates, on behalf of public works director Bill Stowe. A.J. Mumm, Polk County Emergency Management director, will discuss the use of technology to alert local residents of emergencies.
Following the presentations, a panel made up of the presenters and other flood experts from national, state and local governments will be available to answer questions from community members. Representatives from the he U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will join presenters on the panel and will be available to answer questions pertaining to Saylorville Lake’s floodwater management plan. Planning tools, tips and other guidance can also be found on the state’s website, www.DontTestTheWatersIowa.gov.
The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) will host this public information program presented by the Iowa DNR, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Flood Center, Rebuild Iowa Office, National Weather Service, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and U.S. Geological Survey, along with a number of local community leaders.
Editor’s note: Please visit http://www.DontTestTheWatersIowa.gov/media to download program images and collateral materials.