- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Workers are finishing up two multimillion dollar flood barriers in Iowa City even as residents welcome a break from flooding that has hit the area in past years.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service predict a less than 5 percent chance of the Iowa River flooding in the Iowa City area through August, the Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/1BU68uw ) reported.

Weather service meteorologist Dave Cousins adds that Iowa City has seen less rainfall than normal in 2015 with around 12.6 inches of precipitation thus far, which is 2.7 inches less than the average.

But whenever the next round of heavy rainfall occurs, Iowa City officials said the area will be better protected following the completion of its flood mitigation projects.

The Rocky Shore Drive flood gate and pump station, a $4.4-million project, is expected to finish this month, said Ron Knoche, Iowa City public works director. The gates can be closed and locked in a few hours whenever water begins to rise along the river. The pump station is meant to divert water back to the river basin.

Work on a new levee aimed at protecting two mobile home parks and several businesses is in its final stages, Knoche said. The $4.5 million project initially had been set to finish in late 2014 but was delayed by last year’s flooding.

Meanwhile, demolition has begun on an old wastewater treatment plant to make way for a new city park. The plant was decommissioned last year because of its vulnerability to flooding.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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