University of Iowa president Sally Mason viewed the flooding from the air in a helicopter tour of the flooded Iowa City campus Monday. Mason said she was greatly moved by the devastation of the buildings on the arts campus. And Mason says even though the river has peaked, things aren’t going to be back to normal for some time.
Mason says they know the water is going to be at high levees for awhile, but it’s not clear how long the levels will be high. Mason says anyone who has seen the water pouring through the Coralville Reservoir knows there’s still a reason to be concerned. The university’s main library and the Lindquist Center, which houses many U-I computers, remain dry.
The director of facilities planning at Iowa, Don Guckert, says the thousands of volunteer sandbaggers made a difference. Guckert also toured the area from the air and says he truly believes the volunteer effort will accelerate the recovery effort. Guckert says the sandbags helped control the current of the floodwaters.
Guckert says the sandbag dikes helped channel the flow of the river, so the water remaining on campus is a lake without moving water. He says that’s significant, because it helps them avoid a lot of structural damage. Guckert says the power has been restored to affected campus buildings. And the pumps are working to keep the steam tunnels dry.