Loess Hills Prairie Set Aside for Conservancy, Davenport Building Higher Flood Wall, 4:04

May 30, 2019

Loess Hills Scenic Byway

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Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources are encouraging Iowans to stay out of Iowa streams until after the waters recede following heavy rainfall and flash flooding that has caused multiple wastewater and manure releases. 

While fast stream currents are the biggest risk for people, DNR officials said, high waters also can carry dangerous debris and bacteria.

Officials in the eastern Iowa city of Davenport say the city is building a bigger flood barrier in the wake of a breach in April that sent floodwaters rushing into downtown streets.

The city will build larger flood walls when there is a high probability the river cresting above 21 feet, Days after the city's first temporary barrier broke on April 30, the river hit a historic crest of 22.7 feet.

Davenport's downtown sits on the banks of the river, with no permanent floodwall. 

An environmental group has bought an 830-acre property in western Iowa’s Loess (Luss) Hills. the purchase will allow them to preserve native prairie.

Some of Iowa’s last remaining prairie is in the Loess Hills. The Nature Conservancy in Iowa had been talking with a landowner for decades about acquiring his property in Plymouth County to preserve the landscape. Graham McGaffin with the conservancy says they were aware of some competing interests to convert the property to smaller parcels or use some of the Loess Hills dirt for construction needs. So the conservancy bought the land for more than $2-and-a-half million dollars.

The high-quality prairie that’s here, we knew that would be a true loss if either of those outcomes occurred. (0:06)

In the long term, they’ll transfer the property - named the Hummel tract - to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to manage. The public will be able to hunt and hike there.