Established by Iowans, for Iowans

Thanks to the foresight of the Iowa Legislature and the Governor, who created the IFC in 2009, Iowa has the most advanced statewide flood resiliency program in the nation. IFC delivers the latest flood conditions, forecasts, and maps to all Iowans, including emergency managers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, public works directors, county engineers, city planners, elected officials, businesses, farmers, and homeowners. Iowans now have the tools they need to be better prepared for the next flood.

The IFC has made Iowa a model for the nation!

Among the IFC’s recent achievements are the following:

  • Enhancements to the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS), an online source of real-time, science-based flood information specific to each watershed community. IFIS had over 3.5 million page views since being publicly launched in May 2011
  • Deployment of more than 250 stream-stage sensors to monitor water levels in our rivers and streams
  • Development of a real-time flood forecasting system for more than 1,000 communities
  • Development of 5,000 flood inundation maps for dozens of Iowa communities
  • Flood hazard maps for all 99 counties (with FEMA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Iowa DNR)

The IFC’s contributions to the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) are making Iowa more flood-resilient. The IWA is a statewide watershed improvement program designed to mitigate flooding and increase resiliency through the strategic placement of conservation practices such as farm ponds, wetlands, and terraces.

The IWA, funded at about $97M, depends on the people, resources, and services of the IFC.

The program is a partnership that includes:

  • Iowa Economic Development Authority
  • Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management
  • The cities of Dubuque, Storm Lake, and Coralville
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Many other partners across the state

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding for the project.

“Flood control and mitigation are much less expensive than the economic loss, clean-up, and rebuilding that occurs as a result of a flood. At the Iowa Flood Center, we are focused on being proactive and reducing the overall cost of flooding for Iowans across the state—in cities, towns, and small communities alike.” —IFC Director Witold Krajewski

A Good Investment

A map of Iowa showing all 99 counties and how many presidential disaster declarations each has had from 1988-2016.

FEMA data shows that Iowa counties have received 951 flood-related presidential disaster declarations in the last 30 years.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) data reveal that the impacts of floods in Iowa is even more serious than it is nationwide. In the last 30 years, no Iowa county has escaped with fewer than four flood-related presidential disaster declarations. Iowa’s financial loses due to flooding are huge—an estimated $13.5B in direct flood-related property losses in Iowa from 1988-2015. During this same time, Iowa also suffered $4.1B in direct crop losses.

Thankfully, Iowans are fortunate to have the nation’s only academic center devoted solely to flooding, the Iowa Flood Center. The IFC provides services and tools that help Iowans prepare for and mitigate flood damages.

IFC research projects and expertise have brought more than $130M in funding to the state of Iowa, over and above its state appropriation of $1.2M.