FEMA approves Lake Delhi funding

Photo by Learfield News, Flickr.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved funding Thursday to restore Lake Dehli in northeast Iowa, which drained in 2010 when floodwaters breached its dam.

Two requests for funding were submitted by the Lake Delhi Recreation Facility and the Water Quality District in Delaware Country, but both were rejected and the lake’s restoration remained uncertain, locked in a series of appeals until today.

“We’re very happy about the final outcome of this,” said Steve Leonard, president of the lake district. “We don’t know truly yet what it means, to what extent.”

For more information, read the full article at the Des Moines Register.

Photos from Delhi

Thanks to this summer's flooding, Lake Delhi is no longer a hot spot for vacationers. - Photo by Brian Cook/Manchester Press

Along the way to Tuesday’s flood preparation seminar in Elkader, Sen. Joe Bolkcom, ecologist Connie Mutel, flood researcher Nathan Young, and Wayne Peterson of the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship stopped by the former site of Lake Delhi to check out the destruction caused by this summer’s flooding.

Below is a sampling of Bolkcom’s photos.

Doak: Iowa’s weather disasters are ‘the new normal’

The Delhi Dam's failure in July is just one of a slew of natural disasters in Iowa that show the need for policy confronting the reality of Iowa's changing climate. - Photo by Reuters

If you have yet to read it, be sure to check out Richard Doak’s outstanding editorial in last Sunday’s Des Moines Register. In it he convincingly argues that, like it or not, we are now knee-deep in the unpredictable, hardship-ridden reality of “post-climate change Iowa,” and local and state policymakers need to address it.

Doak, a retired Register editor who lectures at Simpson College and Iowa State University, suggests a wide range of proactive measures we could take to mitigate some of the disastrous effects of Iowa’s changing climate, including restoring wetlands and “getting out of the way” of flood waters by limiting development in flood zones.

An excerpt:

The warm, soggy summer of 2010 in all likelihood is not an aberration. It is the new normal.

Henceforth, more summers will be like 2010 than not. And, if climate change is just in its early stages, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Iowa is working to help people cope with the floods of 2010, even as others are still recovering from floods and tornadoes of 2008. Helping neighbors is the first priority, but this should also be an occasion for long-range thinking about how to mitigate future disasters.

What adjustments should our state be making to live in a new climate era where the abnormal has become normal?

It’s a question the state’s would-be leaders should be discussing in this election year.