Iowa State Univ. Flood Damage Estimated at Up to $50M

September 20, 2010

Flooding that struck Iowa State University in August caused up to $50 million in damage and other costs, but the school started fall classes on time and won’t have to replace any of the major campus facilities that sustained damage, an ISU official told the Iowa Board of Regents.

The flood affected 17 ISU facilities, and most of them remain completely or partially out of service, said Warren Madden, vice president for business and finance.

But officials believe Hilton Coliseum, which was filled with up to 14 feet of water, will be ready for men’s and women’s basketball in November, Madden said.

“We are making progress,” he said. “We believe we will get there and we will get these buildings back in service.”

Madden told the regents that ISU’s estimated damage, repair and mitigation costs from the flood are $40 million to $50 million. ISU does not yet have damage estimates for individual buildings, he said.

But fall classes began on time and affected events were moved to other locations, Madden said.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reported that Madden said a maintenance shed on the ISU golf course is likely the only damaged facility that will have to be replaced. He said none of the major campus facilities that were damaged will have to be replaced.

School officials will consider dikes and levees when looking at flood mitigation, Madden said. But he said it’s important to consider how any changes on campus would affect other areas of Ames.

Since the August flood was one of several floods to hit the ISU campus in recent years, State Board of Regents President David Miles asked, “How are we rethinking this process?”

While it’s been determined that major buildings, such as Hilton Coliseum, won’t be moved, Madden said it’s possible that other steps can be taken, such as relocating the large amount of electronic equipment now on the lower level of Hilton, or installing doors or seals that provide stronger flood protection.

When it comes to berms or dikes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Ames community play a role in that discussion, Madden said.

“We don’t want to take steps on the campus that create problems for other people in the community,” he said.

Information from: The Gazette

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