Sunday, August 24, 2008

Questions over flood plain maps spur uncertainty about rebuilding in Iowa

WCF Courier (Iowa): …As residents struggle to put their lives --- and homes --- back together, city officials in Cedar Falls and Waterloo have to consider what, if anything, can be done to prevent future flood damage of the magnitude experienced this summer.

….Farming practices, the degradation of wetlands and an increase in volatile weather patterns all point to a future marked by more severe floods, said Cedar Falls City Councilman Kamyar Enshayan. "People are saying: 'Wow, this is such a natural disaster,'" said Enshayan, who wants the city to toughen its flood plain regulations. "But it was a disaster that we created when we allowed people to build in the middle of the river, basically."

…Enshayan, who was elected to the Cedar Falls City Council in 2003 … wants his community to adopt tougher building regulations based on the flood plain established by this summer's disaster. The city should halt development in areas that took on water in June and use federal and local funds to move residents from flood-prone areas within the next 10 to 15 years, he said.

Cedar Falls city staff disagree, saying existing, federally-approved guidelines are still appropriate, and any sudden change in rules would be unfair to property owners. In addition to restricting economic development, stricter building codes take away residents' rights, said Ron Gaines, the city's director of developmental services. "The biggest investment someone typically makes in their whole life is their home," Gaines said. "Now, if you are telling them they can't go back to their home, you are essentially taking away that investment."

…"The flood plains are mapped-based on what is determined to be a 100-year-flood event," said Aric Schroeder, Waterloo city planner. "Just because this flood event went higher than that doesn't mean the maps need to be re-evaluated or redone or that the 100-year flood needs to be increased to the level of this flood. "It just means that the 2008 flood was larger than the 100-year flood event."…

U.S. soldiers assigned to the Iowa Army National Guard assist local police with traffic and crowd control as search and rescue teams patrol flooded streets in search of stranded citizens in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 12, 2008. US Air Force, Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

Trinidad Shipping said...

Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
There are various sea vessels involved in shipping to jamaica. It may include box boats or container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, cable layers, dredgers and barges.