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Open-File Report 2010–1096

Prepared in cooperation with various Federal, State, and local agencies

Floods of May and June 2008 in Iowa

By Robert C. Buchmiller and David A. Eash

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.7 MB)


An unusually wet winter and spring of 2007 to 2008 resulted in extremely wet antecedent conditions throughout most of Iowa. Rainfall of 5 to 15 inches was observed in eastern Iowa during May 2008, and an additional 5 to 15 inches of rain was observed throughout most of Iowa in June. Because of the severity of the May and June 2008 flooding, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with other Federal, State, and local agencies, has summarized the meteorological and hydrological conditions leading to the flooding, compiled flood-peak stages and discharges, and estimated revised flood probabilities for 62 selected streamgages.

Record peak discharges or flood probabilities of 1 percent or smaller (100-year flooding or greater) occurred at more than 60 streamgage locations, particularly in eastern Iowa. Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Des Moines, Iowa City, Mason City, and Waterloo were among the larger urban areas affected by this flooding. High water and flooding in small, headwater streams in north-central and eastern Iowa, particularly in June, combined and accumulated in large, mainstem rivers and resulted in flooding of historic proportions in the Cedar and Iowa Rivers. Previous flood-peak discharges at many locations were exceeded by substantial amounts, in some cases nearly doubling the previous record peak discharge at locations where more than 100 years of streamflow record are available.

First posted July 1, 2010

For additional information contact:
Director, USGS Iowa Water Science Center
P.O. Box1 1230
Iowa City, IA 52244
(319) 337–4191

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Suggested citation:

Buchmiller, R.C., and Eash, D.A., 2010, Floods of May and June 2008 in Iowa: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1096, 10 p.





Floods of May and June 2008


References Cited

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