While Spring arrives Friday, today marks the start of Flood Safety Awareness Week, though some Iowans have already seen flooding in recent days. Jeff Zogg, senior hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Johnston, says there will be daily topics on things people should know when they encounter high water.
The first topic covers AHAPS, the Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System, which features 90-day outlooks, river forecasts and a variety of up-to-the-minute data on waterways. Zogg says links can be found to the service through the website “ weather-dot-gov “.
Tuesday’s topic is the flood safety campaign “Turn around, don’t drown,” which stresses if you see a flooded roadway, turn around — don’t try to drive through it. On Wednesday, they’ll cover floods, droughts and related weather phenomena. Later in the week, the subject is flood insurance and how to obtain it.
Zogg notes most homeowners’ policies don’t cover damage from flooding. Zogg says Iowans are becoming better educated to the dangers of flooding, especially after what happened almost a year ago. He says last year’s Iowa floods were devastating. While the flood of ’93 covered a larger geographic area and lasted longer, the flood of ’08 was much more expensive and did much more damage to some communities, especially Cedar Rapids.
For the upcoming three months, Zogg says the flood risk statewide is about normal, while the risk for the Rock River in northwest Iowa is somewhat higher than normal and the flood risk for the Mississippi is slightly lower than normal. Again, for more information, visit the National Weather Service website .