How one Iowa City is planning for a rising NewsHour ,Published on: January 14th, 2020

Forum to Explore Flooding in Davenport

Flooding in Davenport

Photo courtesy of the City of Davenport.

The people of Iowa — and especially the citizens of Davenport — understand the necessity of living with floods. A series of statewide events called “Living with Floods” will recognize the resiliency of Iowans in the face of flooding; the series includes a free, public community forum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport, Iowa.

Living with Floods is planned to mark the fifth anniversary of the historic Iowa floods of 2008, as well as to recognize and celebrate the strength and resiliency of Iowans in the face of repeated flood events.

The March 21 Davenport community forum will offer residents an opportunity to discuss flood-related issues, examine better ways to cope with future floods, and learn more about flood mitigation strategies. Nathan Young, associate director of the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa, will be a featured speaker. Local speakers will include representatives from the City of Davenport, who will discuss local efforts to minimize the impacts of future flooding through floodplain and watershed management, as well as the community’s vision for the Davenport riverfront.

“Community forums like these allow us to share some of the work at the university designed to help Iowans cope with flooding, and that definitely has value,” Young says. “But it’s also an opportunity for us all to hear directly from Iowans about local efforts and issues. For me, that’s the really exciting aspect.”

Living with Floods is a statewide project that started at the University of Iowa. Several UI departments and units are collaborating on the project; these include the Iowa Flood Center, Hancher, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the UI Colleges of Education and Engineering, the Department of Health and Human Physiology, and the State Hygienic Laboratory. These UI partners are engaging with seven communities across the state, including Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Muscatine. Last fall, Living with Floods sponsored an Interdisciplinary Flood Workshop for Teachers, which brought together teachers from areas affected by recent flood events to learn how to incorporate environmental learning into their classrooms. Throughout the spring of 2013, Living with Floods is sponsoring community forums; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning events for K-12 students; and free community concerts in the partner communities.

In June, Living with Floods will culminate with free outdoor concerts by New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band in each of the communities, including a concert in Davenport on Friday, June 14. As residents of New Orleans, flooding has a special significance for these musicians.

More Living with Floods community forums are planned across the state:

  • Muscatine — May 29
  • Des Moines — June 4
  • Iowa City — June 6

To learn more about Living with Floods and how you can participate, visit

Sara Steussy, Iowa Flood Center, 319-384-1729,

Robbin Dunn, Davenport Public Works, 563-327-5159,


Living with Floods

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

As anyone in New Orleans would argue, a party just isn’t a party without the perfect band. That’s why Hancher is bringing the Preservation Hall Jazz Band—Hancher’s opening performers in 1972—back to Iowa for a series of seven free outdoor concerts for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Named the Living with Floods project, the Hancher series is in keeping with the University of Iowa’s mission of teaching, research, and service and aims to provide services to communities throughout the state. The project will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2008 flood, celebrate progress made towards recovery, and raise awareness of strategies to mitigate floods as well as of the interconnectedness of our environment and watershed.

Hancher will present free, outdoor performances by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in the seven Living with Floods communities: Iowa City, Dubuque, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Council Bluffs, and Muscatine.



Living with Floods partners include the University of Iowa College of Engineering, College of Education, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, and the Iowa Flood Center.

Named for the esteemed music venue in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a true national treasure. Hailed as “America’s Best Traditional Jazz Band” by All About Jazz, the group has been a driving force in American music ever since its inception in 1961, counting jazz royalty like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong among its distinguished alumni. Now in its 51st year, this national treasure continues to honor the dirty rags, mournful blues, and laid back swing that form jazz’s legacy.