Iowa Experiences Major Flooding


Flood Photos

The Des Moines Register's Photo Gallery

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier - Floods

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier - Tornadoes

Flood Recovery Resources

FEMA Disaster Information

2008 Flood Resource Center

Contact Information for State Agencies Assisting in Disaster Recovery

Consumer Advisory Bulletins on Tornadoes, Storms, Floods and Other Natural Disasters

Iowa State University Extension Disaster Recovery

City of Des Moines Flood Recovery Brochure

Polk County - Flood Cleanup Information

Cedar Rapids Corridor Recovery

Linn County - How to Clean Up After a Flood

Iowa City - River Watch - Flood Updates; Advisories; Maps

Scott County Flood Information

Muscatine County Flood Information

Des Moines County Flood Information

United Way

Habitat for Humanity ReStores




The Floods of 2008 have proven that Iowans are a tough lot, but just how much can we take?  Storms resulted in 17 deaths in seven Iowa counties from May 25 to June 19.  Gov. Chet Culver declared 83 of Iowa's 99 counties as emergency disaster areas with 37 of those counties approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for individual assistance and 39 counties covered under a Presidential Disaster Declaration for public assistance.

Several of Iowa's major watersheds, including the Raccoon, Des Moines, Cedar, Iowa and, ultimately, Mississippi, have wreaked havoc on the lives of tens of thousands of Iowans.  Half of Parkersburg disappeared after an E5 tornado blew through the town on May 25.  Four Boy Scouts lost their lives during a tornado in Little Sioux Scout Ranch little more than two weeks later.  Weather-related damage estimates have reached millions of dollars.

Scientists have been warning us that extreme weather is the result of global warming. "Heavy rains and floods will increase, but so will extreme droughts and forest fires…,” Dr. James Hansen, noted climate scientist, said in Des Moines in August 2007.  Global warming may be contributing to our extreme weather, but flooding is also a combination of other factors like extreme rain events, upstream wetland destruction and the loss of land protected through the Conservation Reserve Program, inappropriate floodplain development and sprawl.

It's a good time to understand why this is happening and to take steps to prevent further devastation in the future.


Find Out More

The following is a list of reports, studies and other websites that discuss the reasons why severe weather is increasing.  

Global Warming

Sierra Club's Smart Energy Solutions

Union of Concerned Scientists' Climate Change in the Hawkeye State

US Global Change Research Program's Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate

2004 Analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center

US Global Change Research Program's Climate Change Impacts on the United States: The Potential Consequences of  Climate Variability and Change

NASA Study Predicts More Severe Storms With Global Warming

U.S. Climate Change Science Program's Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate

Sierra Club, Farmers, Scientists Call on Congress for Clean Farm Bill that Reduces Flooding, Water Pollution—Reforms Needed to Help Flood Victims, Family Farmers's Iowa-Like Floods to Increase With Global Warming (Update1)

Environmental Defense Fund's Global Warming: Ten Chilling Facts

National Research Council's Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises 

United States Environmental Protection Agency's Extreme Events

Global Warming: Early Warning Signs

The Photographic Documentation of Climate Change

Columbia News 2007 Was Earth's Second Warmest Year in a Century

Natural Resources Defense Council's Issues: Global Warming

Environmental Defense Fund's Global Warming

US Public Interest Research Group's Feeling the Heat: Global Warming and Rising Temperatures in the United States

Environment America's Global Warming Solutions That Work: Cutting-Edge Efforts to Curb Global Warming Pollution



NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies' Wetlands' Outsize Influence on Climate

Washington Post's Iowa Flooding Could Be An Act of Man, Experts Say

United States Geological Survey's Prairie Wetlands and Climate Change

United States Environmental Protection Agency's Wetlands: Protecting Life and Property from Flooding

Wetlands International's Healthy Wetlands: An Effective Climate Change Response

The Dire Consequences of Wetland Destruction

United States Environmental Protection Agency's Wetlands Fact Sheets

Clean Water Network's Wetland Protection: Fact Sheets & Reports


Floodplain Management

Association of State Floodplain Managers' 2008 Summer Midwest Floods

FEMA's Floodplain Management Publications

Association of State Floodplain Managers' No Adverse Impact: A New Direction in Floodplain Management Policy

New York Times' Call for Change Ignored, Levees Remain Patchy

Development and Sprawl

River Network's Poor Development and Sprawl

Sprawl City's Getting the Facts: The Cost of Sprawl

Sprawl Watch's clearinghouse on information resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's Urban Sprawl and Public Health





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Last updated: July 21, 2008.