University of Iowa

Flood and Recovery

In June of 2008, historic flood levels on the University of Iowa campus affected more than 20 buildings consisting of 2.5 million square feet, nearly one-sixth of our campus. The flood forever changed our relationship with the Iowa River. The influence of the flood will affect almost every campus planning decision in coming years. The rebuilding plan strived to balance the need to protect against the Iowa River while engaging and celebrating it. Events like the 2014 and 2013 flood risks on the UI campus make clear the importance of the university’s proactive flood protection planning.

The 2008 flood left an indelible mark on our campus, but through the many challenges, there were also many opportunities:

  • Replacement of Hancher on the Arts Campus.
  • Replacement of the School of Music building on the South Campus.
  • Replacement of the original Art Building on the Arts Campus.
  • The return of the Art Museum collection to the UI campus.
  • Continued recovery and flood protection for buildings that remain along the Iowa River.

A look back in time at the Flood of 2008

The following facilities were closed due to 2008 flooding on the University of Iowa campus.

Permanently closed major buildings:

  • Art Building
  • Hancher Auditorium
  • Hawkeye Court Apartments (sections that weren't flooded are open)
  • Museum of Art (partial use for Music)
  • Voxman/Clapp Music Building

Reopened buildings (by date):

  • Cambus Maintenance Facility (6/23/08)
  • North Hall (6/30/08)
  • Main Library (7/09/08)
  • Madison Street Services Building (7/11/08)
  • Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) (7/21/08)
  • Court Street Storage (7/22/08)
  • Hancher Footbridge (8/12/08)
  • Mayflower Residence Hall (8/18/08)
  • Adler Journalism Building (8/22/08)
  • Becker Communication Studies Building (8/22/08)
  • English-Philosophy Building (8/22/08)
  • Stanley Hydraulics Lab (8/22/08)
  • Pearl Field Softball (10/01/08)
  • Iowa Advanced Technology Labs (10/27/08)
  • Power Plant (10/28/08)
  • Iowa Memorial Union (11/01/08)
  • Theatre Building (01/05/09)
  • Danforth Chapel (03/06/09)
  • Cretzmeyer Track (09/02/09)
  • IMU Footbridge (10/02/09)
  • Art Building West (01/17/12)

More Info

UI Flood Reports, Video, Photos and Blog