Community Flood Resilience

Community Flood Resilience

The Upper Iowa Watershed, located in Northeastern Iowa and Southeastern Minnesota, covers over 1000 square miles. Located in the Upper Iowa Watershed and Winneshiek County, and adjacent to the city of Decorah, Freeport is an unincorporated community with great demographic diversity. In August of 2016, the Freeport community experienced an extreme flooding event in which eight to fourteen inches of rain fell in a mere 24 hours. The physical, fiscal, personal, environmental, and social repercussions of this flood were felt by most members of the community, and still impact the lives of many to this day.

Environmental Studies professors, Rachel Brummel and Jon Jenson, accompanied by undergraduate students, spent two summers (2017, 2018) collaborating with community members from Freeport of whom were affected by the flooding. Over a dozen individuals from the community were interviewed, in addition to a few response professionals, about their experiences in the 2016 flood. Transcripts were analyzed in with the lens of response, impact, and resiliency. Recommendations were made and then presented in a collaborative effort with the Freeport community and Winneshiek County professionals alike.