Floodwaters create havoc around Iowa league
The floods in Iowa have hit a Division III athletics conference and some of its member institutions hard, forcing the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to evacuate its office in downtown Cedar Rapids and damaging at least one member school’s sports facilities.
Rising waters from the Upper Iowa River flooded athletics fields and threatened campus buildings at Luther College in Decorah, and power was lost at Cedar Rapids’ Coe College when waters there reached the physical plant.
Flooding at Luther swamped baseball, softball and soccer fields and reached the north end of the Regents Center, which houses the school’s 3,000-seat gymnasium and other athletics and recreational facilities. Water seeped into the lower levels of the north gym as well as racquetball courts and a locker room.
At its highest point, water covered all but the top of the soccer field’s goalposts, according to the school’s sports information office.
A news release credited volunteers who piled up sandbags in knee-deep water with preventing “much worse” damage in the Regents Center.
The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference was forced from its office in Cedar Rapids’ six-story Guaranty Bank & Trust Building after flooding prompted a mandatory evacuation of the city’s downtown area. The conference temporarily is conducting business from the nearby community of Hiawatha.
A bank spokesperson told the Cedar Rapids Gazette there was water in the building’s basement and “it was lapping over the sandbags into the first floor lobby” at the time of the building’s evacuation last week.
Cornell College escaped flooding on its hilltop campus in Mount Vernon, but access to the school was limited and the school suffered power, Internet and phone outages. Still, it was able to provide a temporary haven for 40 students and staff members who were forced from the nearby Coe campus after power was shut off there as water reached electrical switching equipment in the physical plant.
The city of Waverly set up disaster relief operations on the campus of Wartburg College, where the recently built Wartburg-Waverly Sports and Wellness Center served as a shelter for area flood victims. The college also is offering low-cost temporary housing in a campus residence hall.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association