District aims to cut back flood events

Published 8:39 am Monday, October 18, 2010

Having lived along the banks of the Cedar River for 34 years, I am very familiar with and deeply concerned about the frequency of the flooding of the river and the damage it has caused. That is why I became a board member of the Cedar River Watershed District three years ago. The recent heavy rains and the subsequent flooding have provided a reminder that we have local challenges with water flowing into the Cedar River and its tributaries. Once again, those of us along the river and its streams were forced to act in response to the heavy rains.

If there is a silver lining in those dark rain clouds, it would be the outstanding response that everyone had to the event. Homeowners, businesses and neighbors rallied to minimize the damage. Thanks to all of you dedicated people who assisted in this time of need. Unfortunately, the response has become systematic and part of “doing business as usual.” This wasn’t the case for everyone as some people were displaced from their homes while others have been experiencing a variety of other home and land issues that come with flood waters.

I want you all to know that the Cedar River Watershed District is concerned about the flooding and is taking steps to assure the impacts are reduced in the future. This process takes time, and there isn’t a perfect solution. However, we are expanding the analysis of flooding events and taking a proactive approach by initiating projects that will reduce water flow and protect the flood plains in the Cedar River and its tributaries. Right now, we are working hard to find matching funds to stretch the local dollars so that we can provide more solutions to this problem before it causes damage downstream.

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Many thanks to our partners and those of you who are already supporting our endeavors. Hopefully, more of you will want to become involved in this important project as we continue the journey to reduce flooding in our communities.

Harlen D. Peck

Board Chairman

Cedar River Watershed District