Soil Moisture Monitoring in the Turkey River Watershed May Provide Early Warning for Flooding

12-4-2014 – Postville Iowa – The Turkey River Watershed Management Authority met on Thursday December 4th and heard a presentation from the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) regarding information from their modeling results in the Turkey River Watershed and the Otter Creek Watershed.  The models used by the IFC simulate surface and subsurface conditions leading up to and following large precipitation events. Results from the models indicate the how the landscape in the Turkey River Watershed responds to heavy rainfall.  One of the tools used by the IFC are rain gauges and soil moisture probes that continuously monitor conditions at five sites in the Otter Creek Watershed. The gauges collect data every 15 minutes and is streamed live on the Iowa Flood Information System website which can be accessed here. Thanks to funding secured by Northeast Iowa RC&D and the Iowa Flood Center, an additional 17 gauges will be dispersed throughout the Turkey River Watershed to expand monitoring efforts. With an extensive network of continuous monitoring in place, the Iowa Flood Center is hoping to be able to more accurately predict when conditions are more likely for flooding to occur. The Iowa Flood Center will be working with Northeast Iowa RC&D and local emergency managers and officials to develop this technology.

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