University of Iowa

(Red Oak) -- Portions of the East Nishnabotna River in Red Oak will be surveyed Wednesday morning.

Engineers with the University of Iowa will conduct a river bottom survey to create flood inundation maps for the community. Director of Research News Richard Lewis says the goal of the survey is to help prevent future flooding.

"The first step entails going out on a boat and getting an idea of the contours of the river bottom," Lewis said. "They do that by sending sonar, like the Navy does, and it bounces off the bottom and basically gives you a topographical map of the bottom of the East Nishnabotna."

Lewis adds the engineers will try to find parts of the river that are most likely to flood.

"From there, we'll actually create these cool computerized maps that any resident in Red Oak can actually go onto the Internet site and see exactly what's going on with that river and what the forecasts are," Lewis said. "It's a really powerful tool to enable a community to understand what the potential for flooding is in the forecast more effectively than ever."

The engineers will launch from the riverbank near the intersection of Ginkgo Avenue and Iowa 48 at 9:30 Wednesday morning. KMA reporter Brent Barnett will be tagging along with the engineers during the survey.