“Based on our flood experiences, we know that outside charitable help has a critical, positive role to play in addressing flood disasters. Flood victims need federal, state, and local help, too, but they also need charitable assistance. Please give generously to disaster relief for Colorado. Contributions can be sent to the American Red Cross, 6300 Rockwell Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402, and other relief agencies.” – Sen. Rob Hogg, Cedar Rapids
Last week, devastating floods ravaged Colorado’s Front Range, especially the communities of Boulder, Fort Collins, and those in the surrounding counties and rural communities. People lost lives, families lost homes, and many people are still unaccounted for. As the people of Iowa remember the numerous floods that affected us in the past five years, the Iowa Flood Center joins Senator Rob Hogg in his call for donations for the Colorado floods.
Boulder has a special place in the short history of the Iowa Flood Center. It was Vijay K. Gupta, professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who developed the theoretical foundation of the flood forecasting models that we are pursuing in order to provide alerts to over 1000 communities in Iowa via our Iowa Flood Information System. His former student is Ricardo Mantilla, now a Research Engineer at the IFC and the main architect of the state-wide modeling system we use in our studies.
And more recently, during the field campaign we hosted, the Iowa Flood Studies, or IFloodS, many participating scientists were from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. These experts on radar and satellite remote sensing of precipitation are helping us improve our state-wide maps of rainfall. Many former students of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering reside in Boulder, Fort Collins, Denver and the nearby communities. All these ties provide additional significance to the recent events in Colorado.
The Iowa Flood Center was an outcome of the 2008 flood in eastern Iowa, and we work tirelessly to help Iowans be better prepared for future weather events. While it is too soon to tell what approach the state of Colorado will take to rebuilding in the wake of these extraordinary floods, we stand ready to share our expertise. But for now, we can all help by donating.
The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has partnered with the Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to provide a website to help those affected by the flooding. To make a financial contribution or learn more, visit helpcoloradonow.com.
Witold F. Krajewski
Director, Iowa Flood Center