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The 2008 floods: Two events to commemorate and educate


2008 Flood
Pictured is the University of Iowa’s Art Building West (ABW) as seen in June 2008. After suffering extensive water damage, ABW remained closed until January 2012. –photo by Craig Dietrich via Wikimedia Commons

As we approach the five year anniversary of the 2008 Iowa floods, The University of Iowa’s Public Policy Center (UIPPC) and Iowa Flood Center (IFC) have announced two upcoming events as part of the Living with Floods 2013 series of events.

Although five years is a relatively short amount of time in the context of such a catastrophic event, it’s just enough time bring in a fresh crop of University of Iowa undergraduates for whom the floods likely serve as a secondhand–and perhaps even distant–memory. Meanwhile, the social, political and economic impacts of the 2008 floods are ongoing, and although these events occurred a half-decade ago, they continue to present very real, very current challenges for the private and public sectors alike.

Hoping to elucidate some of these issues for both students and the general public, the UIPPC, IFC and their fellow collaborators present the following two events.

Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m.

“Five Years Out: Trouble the Water” curator talk and reception
Legion Arts at CSPS Hall, 1103 Third Street SE, Cedar Rapids

This event will feature the exhibits curator, Diane Barber, who will discuss some of the more nuanced aspects of climate events and climate changes, floods and droughts, as well as the economics of water scarcity and its distribution. For the art-minded, this exhibit features works from Argentina, Japan, Qatar and various other countries around the globe.

Friday, May 31 at 8:30 a.m.

“Five Years Out: Ongoing Impacts and Challenges of the 2008 Floods” symposium
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids

Focusing in on some of the harder data, this event will feature discussions on the impact of the 2008 floods on both our communities and public policy. A number of notable figures will speak about what has changed as a result of the 2008 floods, as well as the ongoing changes to public policy still taking shape. Speakers for this event include the following.

  • Ron Corbett, Mayor of Cedar Rapids
  • Rob Hogg, Iowa State Senator
  • Ralph Rosenberg, Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council
  • Susan Cutter, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography and Director of the Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute, University of South Carolina

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