IFC offers online tools to prepare Iowans for flooding

Heavy rainfall Wednesday evening into Thursday morning has caused significant flooding for numerous communities in north central Iowa. The city of Cedar Rapids is preparing for its second worst flood event; the Cedar River is expected to crest at 24.1 feet, compared to 31.1 feet during the 2008 floods.

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa provides online tools and resources to Iowans to help them prepare and respond quickly to flood events. The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) online tool is a user-friendly, interactive web application that allows anyone access to flood information, including current stream and river level data, weather conditions, and flood alerts and forecasts for more than 1,000 Iowa communities. The application is based on an easy-to-use Google Maps interface that displays up-to-the-minute, community-specific flood information. Individuals can access IFIS by visiting http://ifis.iowafloodcenter.org.


The “split map” feature on IFIS allows the user to see current flood alerts across the state (left map) and impending flood alerts (right map).

See Predicted Flood Levels

In addition to these features, the IFC has also created flood inundation maps for 20 communities across Iowa that provide information on the extent and depth of flood waters. In Eastern Iowa, maps are currently available for Mason City, Charles City, Waverly, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Elkader, Independence, Cedar Rapids, Maquoketa, Iowa City, Hills, Kalona, and Columbus Junction.


Flood inundation maps for Cedar Rapids show which areas will be impacted if the river crests at the predicted 24 feet stage.

These high-resolution, web-based flood maps allow you to see how predicted flood levels could affect your home, business, and community. To access the maps, visit http://ifis.iowafloodcenter.org/ifis/en/app/?snap_view=fmap.

The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) helps Iowans prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from floods. The IFC is part of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, a leading research institute based at the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering. The IFC was established in the spring of 2009 following the 2008 flooding disaster. Iowa legislators recognized the need to establish a center for flood research and education to help Iowans better understand their flood risks. It is the nation’s first academic center devoted solely to the study of floods.

Media Contact

Breanna Shea, Iowa Flood Center Outreach Coordinator, 319-384-1729, Breanna-shea @uiowa.edu