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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Volunteers needed to assist with sandbagging on UI campus

UI officials said late Saturday afternoon that they are on schedule with sandbagging to protect university buildings from flood damage, but would like to step up the pace, and therefore are calling for volunteers - who are at least age 14 - to assist in the effort. Volunteers are especially needed on three sites on the UI campus, and they may report as early as 8 a.m. Sunday, June 8 at these locations: 1) Lot 24, which is north of Currier Residence Hall on Clinton Street; 2) the UI Arts campus, near Clapp Recital Hall; and 3) the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU). Parking for volunteers is available at Hancher and in the IMU ramp on N. Madison St.

Also, UI officials said they are cooperating with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the city of Iowa City in closing all boat ramps along the Iowa River from the Coralville Dam through the city limits of Iowa City and are asking all boaters to stay off the river. The ramps were closed Saturday morning in response to flooding and much higher water levels that likely will continue through the coming week.

In addition, late Saturday afternoon academic administrators at the UI were considering the possibility of moving summer school classes, summer music camps, and other activities from the arts campus on the west side of the Iowa River to other locations on campus in anticipation of elevated water levels in the Iowa River and subsequent flooding, but no decisions to do so have been made at this time.

Precautionary measures urged for UI students, faculty, staff and visitors

•Based on projected river elevations ranging from four to six more feet in depth in the next few days, University of Iowa officials are urging UI students, faculty, staff and visitors to the UI campus and community to use precautionary measures. These include avoiding the Iowa River and the most affected area where sandbagging is currently occurring on campus.

•Sandbagging continues up and down the east and west sides of the Iowa River on the University of Iowa campus. While there is no immediate threat to UI buildings, and no damage has been reported, the University is taking precautionary, proactive measures to manage the risk of potential loss to buildings. The National Weather Service continues to predict substantial rainfall over the next few days for this region of the state of Iowa.

•All transportation arteries to the campus currently remain open, with the exception of Dubuque Street.

•University of Iowa faculty and staff who work on the UI Arts Campus are encouraged to continue to monitor the University of Iowa homepage for latest updates and to anticipate other developments, including removing any essential items from their office spaces that they may need, in case water levels reach much greater heights.

•The UI Office of Risk Management has assembled a team to monitor the flooding situation. The team, which will meet again at 3 p.m. today, Saturday, June 7, includes representatives from Public Safety, Parking and Transportation, Information Technology Services, Facilities Management, University Housing, University of Iowa Health Care and other departments.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Volunteers needed for sandbagging

Any University of Iowa student, faculty or staff member who would like to volunteer filling sandbags should contact Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985. 

Thursday, June 5, 2008

UI using sandbags, monitoring flooding situation

The University of Iowa has instituted its Flood Response Plan to deal with the risk of flooding on campus and minimize or prevent damage to university facilities and grounds.

While there is no imminent threat to UI buildings and no damage has been reported, crews have erected sandbag levies at Mayflower Resident Hall on North Dubuque Street and Hawkeye Court Apartments just off Mormon Trek Boulevard as a precaution. They are also preparing to build sandbag levies at the C. Stanley Maxwell Hydraulics Laboratory on Riverside Drive and on the UI arts campus.

As a further precaution the UI this week evacuated Mayflower, and the UI Office of Risk Management has assembled a team to monitor the situation. The team, which meets daily, includes representatives from Public Safety, Parking and Transportation, Information Technology Services, Facilities Management, University Housing and other departments.

Based on the National Weather Service's forecast for rainfall over portions of north central Iowa over the next couple of days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to increase outflows of its Coralville Reservoir to 15,000 to 16,000 cubic feet per second on Saturday, June 7.

A discharge of this magnitude, combined with flows from Rapid Creek and Clear Creek, will result in flood levels that impact homes and roads in Iowa City. The Corp advises that residents in flood prone areas along the Iowa River begin preparation for high water.

Increased inflow into the Coralville Reservoir on the Iowa River is causing the pool level to rise significantly. Today, the Coralville Lake level is at 708.27 feet and will rise over the next several days. Inflow into the reservoir is expected to raise the pool level to approximately 711.6 feet on or around June 11-12. This level represents use of 97.5 percent of storage capacity with a pool level .4 feet below the emergency spillway at 712 feet. The record high stage at Coralville Reservoir was 716.71 feet on July 24, 1993.

This afternoon (Thursday, June 5), because of flooding of the Iowa River, the City of Iowa City closed North Dubuque Street and the amusement rides at City Park.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, UI spokesman, 319-530-6972; Writer: Stephen Pradarelli, University News Services, 319-384-0007,

UI urges visitors to avoid Dubuque Street, use alternate routes to campus

Because of the continued threat of flooding in Iowa City, University of Iowa officials are urging visitors to take routes other than North Dubuque Street on their way to campus this weekend.

Visitors approaching Iowa City on Interstate 80 can take either the Dodge Street (Exit 246) or 1st Avenue (Exit 242) exits, or the Melrose Avenue exit (Exit 93) if approaching on Interstate 380/US218. To view a map showing recommended routes in yellow highlight, visit

At 3 p.m. today the City of Iowa City closed North Dubuque Street to through traffic from Park Road to Foster Road because of the overflow of water onto both the southbound and northbound lanes of the street. The closure is in effect until the water level subsides sufficiently to allow safe traffic flow to resume.

Dubuque Street has already been reduced to two-way traffic along the northbound lanes because of flooding from the Iowa River and may close by this weekend, when more rain is predicted and could cause further flooding. Mayflower Residence Hall has been evacuated as a precaution, and university officials are keeping a close eye on other facilities across campus that could be impacted by flooding.

The Iowa City River was at 20.43 feet in downtown Iowa City at 8 a.m. this morning, and without more rainfall should crest just below flood stage around midnight, according to the National Weather Service. However, more rain is forecast for the next few days. Iowa City officials announced this morning that children's amusement rides at City Park are closed immediately.

This is an especially busy weekend for the UI campus. Alumni Reunion weekend kicks off Friday, a Summer Dance Concert is scheduled Friday at the UI's North Hall and Hancher Auditorium will premier the documentary "The Bill Sackter Story" Saturday night. Additionally, the Iowa Summer Writing Festival is ongoing, the UI is host to a variety of summer athletics and music camps, and Iowa City is hosting the 2008 Iowa Arts Festival with events schedule both on and around the UI campus.

Visitors next week may also face challenges getting to and around campus, especially if there is additional rainfall. Classes begin for the university’s next three-week summer session on Tuesday, June 10, and orientation for new first-year students begins Wednesday, June 11.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Steve Parrott, University of Iowa spokesman, 319-530-6972,; Writer: Stephen Pradarelli, University News Services, 319-384-0007,