Timeline of Events

A chronological recounting of key events during and after the incident period (May 25 – August 13, 2008).

May 25, 2008

  • Severe thunderstorms including large hail and tornadoes impacted the State of Iowa. The storms also brought heavy rainfall ranging from 4 – 6 inches, causing flooding and flash flooding. According to the National Weather Service, a large and destructive EF-5 tornado moved across Butler and Black Hawk counties. The tornado hit the city of Parkersburg (Butler County) and moved just north of New Hartford (Butler County). The tornado weakened and caused damage north of the Waterloo (Black Hawk County) and Cedar Falls (Black Hawk County) areas.

May 27, 2008

  • President George W. Bush signs FEMA-1763-DR-IA designating Butler County for Individual Assistance (IA) and for emergency protective measures (Category B) limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance (PA) Program. All counties within the State of Iowa are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

May 30, 2008

  • Federal Register Notice (FRN) 1 adds Black Hawk and Buchanan Counties for IA and PA; Butler County for PA (already designated for Emergency Protective Measures [Category B], limited to direct federal assistance, under the PA Program); and Delaware County for PA.

June 8, 2008

  • Iowa River surpasses flood stage of 22 feet.
  • Mason City (Cerro Gordo County) was impacted with heavy rain and flooding.
  • High water overtops the levee in New Hartford (Butler County).

June 10, 2008

  • Saylorville Dam (Polk County) tops emergency spillway at approximately 9:30 p.m. CDT.
  • Coralville Reservoir tops emergency spillway.

June 11, 2008

  • A tornado strikes the Little Sioux Boy Scout ranch between Moorhead and Blenco (Monona County) at approximately 7:00 p.m. CDT. There are four fatalities and 48 injuries.
  • Water begins coming up through storm sewers in Cedar Rapids.
  • Coralville Reservoir ups output to 33,000 cubic feet per second.

June 13, 2008

  • Cedar River crests at 31.1 feed in Cedar Rapids at 10:15 a.m. CDT, almost 20 feet above flood stage.
  • Iowa River surpasses 28.52-foot record.
  • FRN 2 adds Adams and Page Counties for IA. Marion, Story, Tama and Union Counties for IA and PA. Boone, Cerro Gordo, Crawford, Dallas, Dubuque, Floyd and Franklin Counties for PA.
  • FRN 3 adds Benton, Bremer, Fayette, Hardin, Johnson and Linn Counties for IA. Cerro Gordo, Delaware and Floyd Counties for IA (already designated for PA).

June 14, 2008

  • A levee breach occurs at Sixth and New York Streets in Des Moines (Polk County).
  • A levee breach occurs in Lagoon area of Des Moines (Polk County).
  • Coralville Lake level surpasses record of 716.71 feet above sea level.

June 15, 2008

  • Iowa River crests earlier than expected at 31.5 feet.
  • Coralville Lake crests at 716.97 feet above sea level.
  • A levee breach occurs in Oakville (Louisa County).
  • FRN 4 adds Cedar, Jones, Louisa, Muscatine, Polk and Winneshiek Counties for IA.

June 16, 2008

  • Interstate Highway 80 reopens at Cedar River.

June 17, 2008

  • FRN 5 adds Allamakee, Des Moines, Fremont and Harrison Counties for IA. Clayton County for IA and PA. Adams, Linn and Winneshiek Counties for PA (already designated for IA). Grundy, Howard, Iowa, Marshall, Mitchell, Ringgold, Worth and Wright Counties for PA.
  • Interstate Highway 380 reopens.

June 18, 2008

  • FRN 6 adds Chickasaw, Crawford, Jasper, Mahaska, Mills, Monona and Warren Counties for IA and Adair, Allamakee, Chickasaw, Fayette, Hancock, Humboldt, Johnson, Jones, Kossuth, Madison, Page, Taylor, Warren and Webster Counties for PA.

June 19, 2008

  • FRN 7 adds Lee County for IA; Wapello County for IA and PA; Hancock, Kossuth, Madison and Marshall Counties for IA (already designated for PA), Benton, Bremer, Cedar, Fremont and Mahaska Counties for PA (already designated for IA); and Cass, Clinton, Decatur, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Montgomery and Poweshiek Counties for PA.

June 20, 2008

  • FRN 8 adds Scott County for IA; Boone, Franklin, Hamilton and Wright Counties for IA (already designated for Public Assistance (PA); Carroll, Jackson and Keokuk Counties for PA; and Jasper, Mills, Monona and Polk Counties for PA (already designated for IA).

June 21, 2008

  • Cedar River drops below 12-foot flood stage for the first time since Jun 2 in Cedar Rapids.
  • FRN 9 adds Webster County for IA (already designated for PA); Washington County for PA; Hardin, Harrison, Louisa and Scott Counties for PA (already designated for IA).

June 24, 2008

  • Water stops going over Coralville Lake spillway.

June 27, 2008

  • FRN 10 adds Davis, Henry, Lyon, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Pottawattamie and Van Buren Counties for PA; Des Moines, Lee and Muscatine Counties for PA (already designated for IA).
  • Iowa Governor Chet Culver signs Executive Order No. 7, creating the Rebuild Iowa Office, Rebuild Iowa Advisory Commission, and nine Rebuild Iowa Task Forces to coordinate recovery efforts for the state.

June 28, 2008

  • FRN 11 adds Lucas County for IA; Dallas, Davis, Iowa, Mitchell and Worth Counties for IA (already designated for PA).

June 30, 2008

  • FRN 12 authorizes federal funds for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, at 90 percent federal funding of total eligible costs. Effective until the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service River Forecast Center reports that the rivers in the State of Iowa, which have experienced historical flooding, fall below flood stage. (The adjustment cost sharing applies only to Public Assistance costs and direct federal assistance eligible for such adjustments under applicable law.)

July 7, 2008

  • Iowa River falls below flood stage in Johnson County.
  • FRN 13 adds Clinton, Decatur, Dubuque, Greene, Keokuk, Pottawattamie, Van Buren and Washington Counties for IA (already designated for PA).

July 17, 2008

  • FRN 14 adds Montgomery County for IA (already designated for PA); Appanoose and Monroe Counties for PA only; and Lucas County for PA (already designated for IA).

August 6, 2008

  • FRN 15 adds Appanoose, Monroe and Ringgold Counties for IA (already designated for PA); Clarke County for IA and PA; and Wayne County for PA.

August 12, 2008

  • FRN 16 adds Audubon and Winnebago Counties for IA; Adair, Cass, Grundy, Guthrie and Henry Counties for IA (already designated for PA); and Cherokee County for PA.

August 13, 2008

  • FRN 17 closes the incident period for this disaster.

August 14, 2008

  • The FEMA/Tribal Agreement for the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa was signed designating the Settlement area located in Tama County as eligible for Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Assistance.

August 18, 2008

  • FRN 18 adds Winnebago County for Public Assistance (already designated for IA).

August 26, 2008

  • FRN 19 adds Howard, Humboldt, Jackson and Poweshiek for IA (already designated for PA).

September 3, 2008

  • FRN 20 (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service River Forecast Center) establishes that the rivers in the State of Iowa, which experienced historical flooding, fell below flood stage on August 8, 2008.

September 8, 2008

  • FRN 21 authorizes federal funds for all categories of PA at 90 percent of the total eligible costs.