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University of Iowa Prepares for High River Levels

Updated: Tuesday, May 28 2013, 10:29 PM CDT
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- The University of Iowa is setting up HESCO barriers around the Mayflower Residencve Hall to prepare for possible flooding.

Eighty four residents, like Chris Chambers are being forced to move out.

"There's people sitting out in the hallway kind of complaining about it. Nobody too ferociously, but there is a little bit of eye-rolling and exasperated sighing," Chris said.

The university has also taken steps in other low-lying places, including putting sandbags around the UI Water Treatment Plant.

Officials want to avoid damage like that in 2008, when 20 buildings were flooded on campus. More than 6 million sandbags were filled in Johnson County alone.

They said they would rather be careful now than sorry later.

"We feel confident that the things we're doing now follow the strict and careful plan we have laid out to protect the campus and different assets on the campus. Again, to do it proactively and not wait for worse news, but rather be ready in case there is worse news," said Rod Lehnertz, University of Iowa Planning, Designing and Construction director.

Right now, the big unknown is the weather. If it rains and the predicted flood levels go up, more and more university buildings will have to be protected.

"If it happens in locations within the Iowa River basin, then there will be a likely impact in Iowa City," said Larry Weber, Iowa Flood Center.

Officials expect the flood precautions to be in place for weeks to come.University of Iowa Prepares for High River Levels

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