Flood anaysis says not bigger but more often

Apr 20, 2015

Water Street in Peoria, IL underwater April 21, 2013.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  Floods in the midwest and nearby states are not getting bigger, they're just occurring more often. That's the conclusion of a new study by the University of Iowa Flood Center after looking at 50 years of river levels in 14 states. Herb Trix reports. 


Assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Gabriele Villarini, says the rising number of floods is due to more rain.  

Villarini is now studying what might be causing that - his results won't ready for a few months but he says "it seems to be driven by climate change." One theory is that a warmer atmosphere can hold more water, and that can lead to increased precipitation. The Flood Center study was published online in February by the journal, Nature Climate Change.