Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, Chuck Connerly, was recently quoted in a New York Times article on flooding, “How the University of Iowa Recovered From the ‘Unfathomable’ Flood That Ruined It.” Connerly addresses details on the history of UI campus planning and the placement of campus buildings in the floodplain. He and two other URP faculty, Lucie Laurian and Jim Throgmorton, conducted research on how the University has coped with flooding, both before and after the 2008 flood, which consumed the campus in June 2008, leaving $750 million in damage. Their publication, “Planning for Floods at the University of Iowa: A Challenge for Resilience and Sustainability” was published in 2016.
Iowa has been experiencing flooding this year on both the eastern and western borders of the state from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, making survival and recovery methods gained from the recent past valuable today. The New York Times article also includes conversations with Don Guckert, UI Associate VP and Director of Facilities Management, who was one of those gravely concerned with fighting the flood waters during the floods of 2008, and now uses his experience in presentations to others about the lessons learned. As the US continues to experience extreme weather in all parts of the country, knowledge drawn through personal experiences holds great value in disaster mitigation efforts for other communities. The full article may be read here.