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University of Iowa Trying to Keep Campus Dry

Updated: Monday, June 3 2013, 08:34 AM CDT
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- As the river continues to rise and the walls continue to go up, the fear of the unknown has many on edge.

"We have nice buildings here so that's kind of sad, I don't want them to get ruined in any way," UI student Emily Nauman said.

"We will monitor all the buildings that are in the threatened area near the flood, and will monitor those for conditions and any infiltration of water," said Rod Lehnertz, UI’s director of planning.

It’s a priority especially after the way the 2008 flood devastated the campus, flooding out 20 buildings, including several on the arts campus.

Unfortunately, those same buildings may be in trouble again.

"Any building that was in the area that was directly impacted by flood waters is in the same area that would be affected by flood waters this time,” Lehnertz said.

Lehnertz says there are a few differences this time around.

"We're protecting them at a much different rate than 2008."

Hesco barriers 2 levels and higher are going up across campus especially at the Hancher auditorium, where 2008 flood waters came up to the stage.

"Our protection methods are intended to keep water out of all of those buildings," Lehnertz said.

In addition sidewalks near the river have been re-modeled and in some cases rebuilt.

"There was a lot of undulation in the sidewalk system back in 2008 which made which made engineering measurements for sandbags at that time very difficult."

Now they're confident there won't be a repeat.

"We will watch as the water rises this weekend, but are confident that the plan put into place is one step ahead."

Students are sharing in that confidence as well.

"I'm optimistic with how the university will respond, but the rest is just Mother Nature," Nauman said. University of Iowa Trying to Keep Campus Dry


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