WIUM Tristates Public Radio

College Students Study the Flood

Apr 23, 2019
Originally published on January 22, 2020 12:31 pm

Flooding by the Mississippi River is providing some real world lessons for students at Western Illinois University in the Quad Cities. 

The Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies, Roger Viadero, says students have been able to take what they learn in class and apply it to one side of the campus in Moline that's been under water for about a month.

"We all have the opportunity as we're working to look out on one of the world's largest, most significant river systems. So that's really great, but lately that huge river system is becoming part of WIU-Quad Cities' front yard."

To keep the lessons simple, Viadero decided to focus on the river's depth and velocity, as measured on the curb in front of the building. The recent speed of the water has been 1.8 miles per hour - nearly twice the normal speed here.

"Normally a place where we shouldn't have any water is inundated with water, in some cases up to 34 inches of water. And we've got a speed that you find somewhere in the actual river proper, under normal circumstances."

Viadero believes the damage caused by this flood will be significant - because of the speed of the water, the depth, and how long the flood has lasted. 
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