HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN
THIS PLAN IS FUNDED THROUGH THE
IOWA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT,
THE CITY OF WAVERLY
Adopted September 10th, 2001
PREPARED BY THE IOWA NORTHLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
Ivan Ackerman, Mayor
City Council Members
Kathy Abend Gary Boorom
Lynn Michl Elizabeth Hartman
Mel Kramer Carol Waltmann
Fred Ribich Patsy Reed
Richard J. Crayne City Clerk/Administration
Michael Cherry City Engineer/Public Works
Arthur Simpson Police Chief
Dave Nelson Volunteer Fire Chief
Brian Sullivan Public Services Superintendent
Glenn Cannon Electric Utility General Manager
Tabor J. Ray Parks and Recreation Director
Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee
Mike Cherry Brian Sullivan
Art Simpson Dave Nelson
Richard Crayne Mel Kramer
Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments Staff
Sharon Juon Executive Director
Fred Saul Director of Development
Brian Schoon Director of Planning & RTC
Kevin Blanshan Director of Trans.& Data Services
Sheri Alderidge Director of Administrative Services
Tracey Achenbach Director of Housing
Jim Rodemeyer Human Resources Manager
Jodi Jeanes Environmental Planner
Chris Ward Economic Development Coordinator
Brenda Ponto Accountant
Andy Loonan Transportation Planner
Clarissa Nicholson Housing Planner
Jeff Schlee Safety Coordinator
Dan Schlichtmann Data Services Coordinator
Ken Swanson Operations Manager-RTC
Suzanne Harle Housing Planner
Erek Sittig Flood Buyout Coordinator
*Brian Buethe Community Planner
Cory Hines Data Services Intern
Hayley Peek Administrative Assistant
* Principal Planner on the Project
Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP)
Table of Contents
1. Purpose of Hazard Mitigation Plan………………………………………… 1
2. Community Profile…………………………………………………………. 2
a. Location…………………………………………………………….. 2
b. History……………………………………………………………… 2
c. Transportation……………………………………………………… 3
d. Climate……………………………………………………………… 3
e. Topography………………………………………………………… 3
f. Surface Water Systems…………………………………………….. 3
g. Vegetation………………………………………………………….. 4
h. Population………………………………………………………….. 4
i. Population Projections……………………………………………... 5
j. Age of Housing…………………………………………………….. 6
k. Value of Housing…………………………………………………… 7
l. Income……………………………………………………………… 8
m. Employment by Industry…………………………………………... 9
n. Employment by Occupation……………………………………….. 10
o. Zoning……………………………………………………………… 11
p. Building Codes……………………………………………………... 11
q. Municipal Water Systems………………………………………….. 11
r. Waste Water Treatment Facility
and Collection System……………………………………………… 12
s. Utilities……………………………………………………………... 12
t. Fire Insurance Rating………………………………………………. 12
u. Major River/Watersheds……………………………………………. 12
v. National Flood Insurance Program…………………………………. 12
w. NFIP Number………………………………………………………. 12
x. Previous Hazard Mitigation Plans………………………………….. 12
y. Flood Insurance Information……………………………………….. 13
3. Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment…………………………………….. 14
a. Hazard Identification……………………………………………….. 14
b. Vulnerability Assessment Criteria………………………………….. 15
c. FLOOD…………………………………………………………….. 16
d. TORNADO/HIGH WIND EVENT………………………………... 22
e. EARTHQUAKE…………………………………………………… 25
f. WINTER STORM…………………………………………………. 27
g. DROUGHT………………………………………………………… 29
h. OTHER HAZARDS………………………………………………... 31
4. Current Mitigation Activities………………………………………………. 33
a. Emergency Services………………………………………………… 33
b. Property Protection…………………………………………………. 35
c. Flood Research……………………………………………………… 36
d. Flood Plain Management…………………………………………… 37
e. Other Mitigation Activities………………………………………… 37
5. Mitigation Goals and Alternatives…………………………………………. 41
6. Analysis of Mitigation Alternatives………………………………………... 42
7. Funding of Alternatives…………………………………………………….. 48
8. Mitigation Recommendations Summary…………………………………... 50
9. Implementation…………………………………………………………….. 51
10. Mitigation Evaluation Commentary……………………………………….. 52
1. Upper Cedar Watershed Area……………………………………………… 17
2. Detailed Watershed Map………………………………………………….. 18
3. Iowa Tornadoes by County………………………………………………… 21
4. Earthquake Probability Chart………………………………………………. 26
1. Population Trends………………………………………………………….. 4
2. Historic Population Changes……………………………………………….. 5
3. Population Projections……………………………………………………... 5
4. Age of Housing…………………………………………………………….. 6
5. Median Value of Single Family Dwelling Units in Waverly..……………. 7
6. Value of Owner Occupied Single Family Dwelling………………………. 7
7. Income Distribution………………………………………………………... 8
8. Employment by Industry…………………………………………………... 9
9. Major Local Employers……………………………………………………. 10
10. Utility Providers…………………………………………………………… 12
11. Gauge Information…………………………………………………………. 18
12. Annual Recorded Peak Flows (Janesville, IA)…………………………….. 19
13. Top 10 Peak Flow Recordings………………………………………………. 21
14. Fujita Scale of Tornados…………………………………………………… 24
15. Bremer County Tornado Events…………………………………………… 24
16. Structures with Substantial Flood Risk…………………………………….. 35
1. Flood Plain Regulations
2. Location Map
3. Critical Sites Map
4. USGS Topographic Map
5. Flood Communication Protocol
6. Resolution Setting Date for Public Hearing
7. Public Hearing Notice
8. Resolution Adopting Hazard Mitigation Plan
HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN
CITY OF WAVERLY, IOWA
PURPOSE OF HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN
This Hazard Mitigation Plan is being developed to assess the ongoing mitigation goals in the
community, to evaluate mitigation alternatives that should be undertaken, and to outline a strategy
Building a disaster resistant community is an initiative that challenges the City of Waverly to
undertake actions that protect families, businesses, and public facilities by reducing the effects of
natural disasters. Reducing the effects of natural disasters makes economic sense and is good
public policy because it protects our citizens and our future.
The Plan was formulated from input by elected officials, public works, and other City personnel,
agency representatives, business people, and interested citizens.
Passed and Adopted by the Waverly City Council
Public Meeting Date: _______/______/_______
Month Day Year
The City of Waverly is located in southwest Bremer County in the northeast quadrant of
Iowa. The Cedar River divides the metropolitan area, which is served by two major
highways, U.S. Highway 218 and State Highway 3.
The Waverly area was originally given to the Winnebago Indians by a treaty that lasted from
1833 to 1850. In 1859, the Winnebago traded their lands in Iowa for lands further to the
The earliest non-American Indians to settle in the Waverly area arrived in 1852. Frederick
Cretzmeyer, his brother Wendelin, and their families were the first to arrive. Soon
thereafter, William P. Harmon arrived and promptly purchased ten acres of land from the
Cretzmeyers. Mr. Harmon constructed a sawmill with the prerogative of building a town
around it. His dream was soon realized and many of the first homes in the Waverly area
were built using wood from the Harmon sawmill and bricks from a manufacturing plant
(Waverly’s first industry) started by Wendelin Cretzmeyer.
It wasn’t long before rapid development was occurring. In 1853 the first county elections
were held and Waverly was named the county seat of Bremer County. Within the next ten
years (1854 to 1864) the city witnessed publication of it’s first newspaper, the Republican;
the first county fair; the construction of the Waverly House Hotel; and perhaps most
important, the arrival of the railroad.
Since Waverly’s early existence education has been a priority. The first schoolhouse, which
was also used for public meetings, was built in 1855. Construction on the areas first high
school began in 1872. Seven years later, German Lutheran College was founded in
Waverly. In 1935, what was originally German Lutheran College became what is today
Wartburg College. The college has remained an important contributor to the economic,
social, and cultural structure of the community. Wartburg College is now a fully accredited,
four-year liberal arts college with an estimated enrollment of approximately 1,546 students.
The college is named after the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany.
Originally, the community was to be called Harmon or Harmonville after the town's founder
William P. Harmon. Yet, during the town's incorporation celebration in 1859, the speaker,
an avid fan of Scott's “Waverly Novels”, made the mistake of calling the town Waverly. The
name was recorded and the town became known as Waverly. It was not until March 2 nd of
1859 that Waverly was officially named an incorporated municipality.
Source: Bremer County Independent, Historical Issue
Two major highways serve Waverly: Iowa State Highway 3, which is an east/west route,
and U.S. Highway 218, which is a north/south route. U.S. Highway 218 within Waverly has
now evolved into a secondary route due to the recently constructed U.S. Highway 218
bypass that now runs to the west of the city limits. Other significant roadways entering
Waverly include county roads V14, C38, C33, V21
A railroad also serves Waverly. The Illinois Central Railroad line enters the city from the
south and then exits the city to the west. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad used to
operate a line that passed through the community, but this line has been abandoned.
Waverly is served by a small airport approximately 2.5 miles northwest of the city limits.
The airport maintains a concrete runway, which is approximately 2800 feet long, but has no
control tower. The nearest commercial airport is located in Waterloo, Iowa, which is
approximately 24 miles to the south.
The climate of Waverly is of the continental type, which is marked by a great variation in
both temperature and precipitation. Temperatures average 70.2º F during the summer
months and approximately 19.4º F during the winter months. The average annual rainfall
for the City of Waverly is 32.9 inches. Average snowfall for the community is
approximately 35.5 inches annually.
The terrain, on which Waverly is built, is generally the undulating topography that
characterizes the agricultural areas of northeast Iowa. There are a few areas of steeper than
normal slope with these being dispersed throughout the community adjacent to
watercourses. The highest point in the community lies at approximately 1,020 feet above
sea level and is located near the water tower on the east side of town.
Surface Water Systems
There are three primary surface water systems that affect the City of Waverly. The largest
of these water systems is the Cedar River. The Cedar River at Waverly is part of a
watershed that is responsible for the drainage of over 1,500 square miles of land and has
been the cause of most of the major flooding in the city.
The second primary surface water system is the stream referred to as Dry Run Creek. Dry
Run Creek flows mainly in a southeasterly direction before it converges as a tributary to the
Cedar River near the corner of Sixth Avenue SW and First Street SW.
The third and final primary surface water system is relatively insignificant in nature when
compared to the affect of the first two channels have on the city. In fact the FEMA Flood
Insurance Study for the community identifies the stream as “Unnamed Creek”, sometimes
referred to as “No Name Creek.” This creek converges with the Cedar River northwest of
the intersection of Fifth Avenue SE and Eleventh Street Southeast.
Originally the land surrounding and including Waverly was covered with deciduous forest;
this vegetation is now predominant only along the banks and flood plains of watercourses.
The original cover has been reduced to make room for additional cropland and construction
of houses and businesses in suitable areas.
Table 1: Population Trends
Year Waverly % Change
1900 3,177 -- 16,305 --
1910 3,207 0.9 15,843 -2.8
1920 3,352 4.6 16,728 5.6
1930 3,652 9.0 17,046 1.9
1940 4,156 13.8 17,932 5.2
1950 5,124 23.3 18,884 5.3
1960 6,357 24.1 21,108 11.8
1970 7,205 13.3 22,737 7.7
1980 8,444 17.2 24,820 9.2
1990 8,539 1.1 22,813 -8.1
2000 8,968 5.0 23,325 2.2
Source: U. S. Census Bureau
The City of Waverly experienced growth in every decade of the 20 th century. The Farm
Crisis that affected the majority of communities in the region also slowed the population
growth in Waverly. Waverly, unlike some neighboring communities (i.e. Waterloo, IA) was
able to maintain positive population growth, although somewhat decelerated, throughout the
turbulent 1980’s. This is a trend that eluded Bremer County as a whole during the same
period. According to the 2000 Census information Waverly maintained positive population
growth during the 1990’s by posting a five percent increase. Please refer to Table 1, above,
for population trends of Waverly and Bremer County.
Projections are only estimates of future population, and many factors have an effect on the
future population, such as employment, housing, and educational opportunities. While some
projections use some of this data in order to estimate future population, they cannot plan for
unknown events, such as drastic employment opportunities or natural disasters.
The following projections are based on the linear and geometric methods, which assume that
future population will continue to change based on past trends. The linear method adds or
subtracts from the population the average number from each ten-year period since 1950, while
the geometric method uses an average growth or decline rate. Table 2 shows the actual
number change and the growth or decline rate for each decade and their averages.
Table 2: Historic Population Changes
Year Population Number Change Growth/Decline Rate
(Linear Method) (Geometric Method)
1950 5,124 -- --
1960 6,357 +1,233 +24.1%
1970 7,205 +848 +13.3%
1980 8,444 +1,239 +17.2%
1990 8,539 +95 +1.1%
2000 8,968 +429 +5.0%
Average (1950-2000) +3,844 / 5 = +768.8 +60.7 / 5 = +12.14%
Source: U. S. Census Bureau
Using the numbers derived in Table 2, population projections can be estimated using the two
methods (Linear and Geometric). These projections are listed in Table 3. It is important to
note that these projections are just estimates based on past trends. Many variables can affect
a cities growth and/or decline in population. Nevertheless, projecting population can give
some idea as to how to plan for the future.
Table 3: Population Projections
Year Linear Projections Geometric Projections
2010 9,737 10,057
2020 10,506 11,278
Age of Housing
Table 4: Age of Housing
Year Structure Waverly Bremer County State of Iowa
was Built Number Percent Percent Percent
1989 to March 21 0.6 0.6 1.0
1985-1988 56 1.8 1.2 3.2
1980-1984 165 5.2 4.8 5.8
1970-1979 778 24.6 21.5 20.2
1960-1969 553 17.5 13.9 14.0
1950-1959 451 14.3 12.6 12.9
1940-1949 171 5.4 5.8 7.9
1939 or earlier 965 30.5 39.6 35.0
Total 3,160 100.0 100.0 100.0
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1990
The above table (Table 4) shows the age of the housing units for Waverly, Bremer County,
and Iowa in 1990. As a means of comparison, it also shows the age make-up, by percentage,
of the total housing stock in Bremer County and the State of Iowa. In general, the Waverly
percentages are similar to those given for the county and state.
Census information in 1990 showed that 965 (30.5 percent) units were built prior to 1940,
while only 242 (7.6 percent) were added during the 1980s. Coinciding with the large
increase of population during the 1970s, 778 structures (24.6 percent) were built. As of
December 1998 one hundred sixty three (163) new permits had been issued for the City of
Census 2000 Census figures show that the total number of housing units in Waverly
increased to 3,394 total households. This is an increase of 234 housing units during the
Value of Housing
Table 5: Median Value of a Single Family Dwelling
Place 1980 1990 Median Percent Change
Median Value Value
Waverly $50,800 $53,100 4.5
Bremer County $46,800 $49,500 -1.9
State of Iowa $40,600 $45,900 13.1
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1980 and 1990
As of the 1990 Census, the City of Waverly holds a substantially higher median housing
value when compared to either Bremer County or the State of Iowa. These figures are
evident in the above Table 5. It is important to realize that the values expressed in the
above table were derived in a period of severe financial stress in the region due primarily
to a lagging agriculture economy. It is anticipated, today, that these figures would be
Table 6: Value of Owner-Occupied Single Family Dwelling Units in Waverly
Waverly Bremer County
Value of Homes ($)
Number % Number %
Less than $15,000 19 1.0 192 4.2
15,000-19,999 51 2.8 279 6.0
20,000-24,999 71 3.9 325 7.0
25,000-29,999 68 3.7 320 6.9
30,000-34,999 113 6.2 368 8.0
35,000-39,999 155 8.5 385 8.3
40,000-49,999 326 17.9 741 16.0
50,000-74,999 663 36.3 1,328 28.7
75,000-99,999 216 11.8 455 9.8
100,000-149,999 116 6.4 182 3.9
150,000 or more 28 1.5 52 1.1
Total 1,826 100.0 4,627 100.0
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1980 and 1990
Table 6, on the previous page, illustrates the proportion of housing units in each estimated
value range. Please note that Waverly has a noticeably higher proportion of units in the higher
value ranges, when compared to Bremer County as a whole. Again, these numbers are
derived from the 1990 Census and therefore must be viewed as relative to the time period. To
date, Census 2000 information on housing value has not been released.
According to the 1990 Census, the median household income in Waverly was $28,312, while
the county median income was $27,326, and the state median income was $26,229. Over 16
percent of the households in Waverly earned less than $10,000 in 1989, and most of them
were non-family households. The following table (Table 7) shows the number of households
and the proportion of total households by income category. Table 7 also illustrates the number
of households in each income category that were family and non-family households.
Table 7: Income Distribution
Income in Dollars Number of % of Number of Number of
($) Households Households Families Non-families
Less than $5,000 125 4.08% 38 87
5,000 to 9,999 376 12.27% 121 255
10,000 to 14,999 296 9.66% 121 175
15,000 to 24,999 520 16.97% 261 259
25,000 to 34,999 624 20.37% 512 112
35,000 to 44,999 445 14.52% 402 43
45,000 to 59,999 389 12.70% 364 25
60,000 to 74,999 135 4.41% 135 0
75,000 to 99,999 95 3.10% 89 6
100,000 or more 59 1.93% 52 7
Total 3,064 100.00% 2,095 969
Source: U. S. Census Bureau, 1990
Employment by Industry
In 1990, the largest number of employed persons age 16 and over in Waverly worked in the
Educational Services sector. By contrast, the largest number of employed persons in Bremer
County was in the Manufacturing, durable goods sector. Table 8 shows the employment by
industry type for persons age 16 and over in Waverly and Bremer County.
Table 8: Employment by Industry
Waverly Bremer County
Number % Number %
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries 67 1.60% 1070 9.90%
Mining 5 0.12% 19 0.18%
Construction 175 4.19% 470 4.35%
Manufacturing, Non-durable goods 284 6.80% 744 6.88%
Manufacturing, Durable goods 509 12.18% 1613 14.92%
Transportation 81 1.94% 287 2.66%
Communications and other Public Utilities 73 1.75% 134 1.24%
Wholesale Trade 101 2.42% 396 3.66%
Retail Trade 762 18.24% 1610 14.89%
Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate 446 10.67% 865 8.00%
Business and Repair Services 76 1.82% 272 2.52%
Personal Services 116 2.78% 269 2.49%
Entertainment and Recreational Services 24 0.57% 53 0.49%
Health Services 279 6.68% 825 7.63%
Educational Services 820 19.63% 1383 12.79%
Other Professional and Related Services 237 5.67% 507 4.69%
Public Administration 123 2.94% 292 2.70%
Total Employed Persons 16 Years and
4178 100% 10809 100%
Source: U. S. Census Bureau
Major Local Employers
Listed below in Table 9 are the fourteen largest employers in the City of Waverly according
to the Iowa Department of Economic Development.
Table 9: Top Employers by Number of Personnel
Employer Number of Employees
CUNA Mutual Life Insurance Co. 780
Wartburg College 375
GMT Corporation 350
Nestle USA 343
Terex Cranes, Inc. Waverly Division 315
APAC Telemarketing 141
Rada Manufacturing Company 120
United Equipment Accessories 60
Waverly Plastics Company 50
K & L Draperies 55
G & R Publishing Company 54
Waverly Plastics Co. 57
Rubber Development, Inc. 30
The Zoning Ordinance was last updated in 1990. The stated purpose of the ordinance is to
promote the public health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity and general
welfare; to conserve and protect the value of property throughout the city and to encourage
the most appropriate use of land; to lessen congestion in the streets; to population; and to
facilitate the adequate services, including transportation, community protection and utility
A critical portion of the Zoning Ordinance is the district defined as the “Environmentally
Sensitive Protected District (U-1).” Essentially this district, it’s definition and the
regulations on the classification translate into what is commonly referred as a Flood
Ordinance. The zoning classifications identified in the Waverly Zoning Ordinance are as
Single Family Residential Districts
One and Two Family Residential – Transitional Districts
Planned Factory Built Home Districts
Shopping Center Districts
Three Commercial Districts
Two Industrial Districts
Planned Development Districts
Environmentally Sensitive Protected Districts
The City of Waverly has adopted the following codes:
1997 Uniform Building Code
2000 Uniform Mechanical Code
2000 Uniform Plumbing Code
1999 National Electric Code
The City has a Building Official with an office in City Hall. Enforcement of the various
codes can reduce the number of household fire calls due to improper electrical and heating
installations. In addition, adhering to requirements outlined in building codes reduces the
likelihood of damage occurring due to high winds or heavy snow events.
Municipal Water System
The City of Waverly has a municipal water supply with an elevated storage capacity of
1,750,000 gallons. The capacity of the water plant is approximately 6,000,000 gallons.
Average daily consumption roughly 1,000,000 gallons. Peak recorded consumption is 1.8
Waste Water Treatment Facility and Collection System
The current Waste Water Treatment Facility consists of waste management treatment ponds
located in the southeast corner of the city near the intersection of 8 th Street SE and 17th
Avenue SE. The waste water is transported to the ponds with the assistance of nine (9)
waste water lift stations. The city currently has what is commonly referred to as a tertiary
sewage treatment system. Over 95 percent of the city is served by this sewer system. The
average load in gallons per day is approximately 1,240,000 gallons. The system has a peak
load of 2,951,000 gallons per day. The current design capacity is 2,330,000 gallons per day.
The primary providers of utilities in Waverly are listed below, in Table 10.
Table 10: Utility Providers
Electric Waverly Light and Power
Natural Gas MidAmerican Energy Company
Water City of Waverly
Fire Insurance Rating
The current rating for the City of Waverly is five (5).
Information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency shows that the City of
Waverly is located near the bottom of the Upper Cedar Watershed. The Upper Cedar, above
the Janesville gage, has a drainage area of 1727.31 square miles and contains 14 rivers and
streams for a total of 1929.5 river miles. There are also 31 lakes covering 3095.8 acres. For
geography and peak flow data please refer to Illustration 1and 2, and Tables 10, 11, and 12.
National Flood Insurance Program
The City of Waverly has been a participating member of the regular National Flood
Insurance Program (NFIP) since March 2 nd, 1981.
NFIP Number: 190030
Previous Hazard Mitigation Plans
This document is the first official Hazard Mitigation Plan prepared for the community.
Flood Insurance Information
A Flood Insurance Study was completed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in
September of 1980. The study reflects 100 and 500-year flood levels for three streams in the
community; the Cedar River, Dry Run Creek, and Unnamed Creek. The corresponding
Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), originally prepared circa 1976, was updated in 1989 as
part of the Bremer County Flood Insurance Study.
At the time of this initial Flood Insurance study the city had not taken any action on flood
protection projects. They had been proactive in securing studies for the various channels
located within the city. Since the completion of that study, Waverly has continued a
proactive approach, including joining the National Flood Insurance Program, initiating a
flood control ordinance, and continuing to seek ways to reduce the effects of the flood
problems they have so often experienced.
HAZARD ANALYSIS AND RISK ASSESSMENT
The Hazard Identification portion of this plan consists simply of the recognition of potential
hazards that could affect the City of Waverly. It is important to note that the hazards
identified in this section could occur as a result of one or a number of other hazards. For
example, loss of communications could occur as a result of a tornado. The vast array of
potential hazards to a community is unpredictable and therefore impossible to identify prior
to the actual occurrence of said event. Therefore, it should be stated that this list is not
exhaustive, but rather an attempt at identification of hazards that can and should be
identified for purposes of potential mitigation effort. The following is a list of those
2. Tornado/High Wind Event
4. Winter Storm
6. Other Hazards
Vulnerability Assessment Criteria
The Vulnerability Assessment will take an objective look at the hazards listed in the Hazard
Identification portion of the plan. Each potential hazard will be evaluated using six criteria.
Those criteria are:
Definition of hazard
Previous occurrence of the event(s)
Probability of future occurrence
People and property adversely affected
Total area of community affected
Severity of the resulting impacts
Warning time allowed for the hazard
a rising and overflowing of a body of water especially onto normally dry
land; also : a condition of overflowing <rivers in flood> (Webster)
a local flood of great volume and short duration generally resulting from
heavy rainfall in the immediate vicinity (Webster)
Floods cause the most widespread and costly damage of any of the identified
hazards in Waverly and in Iowa. In fact, Iowa is reported to Congress as
experiencing the highest annual flood damage of any state in the nation, with
annual damages exceeding $543 million.
The primary flood hazard in the City of Waverly generally occurs as a result
of overflow from one of two sources. The first source would include
flooding from the Cedar River, which represents the largest single water-
body in the city. The second source is Dry Run Creek, which is a tributary to
the Cedar River. Another smaller stream referred to as “No Name Creek”
can experience minor, rather insignificant flooding.
An important note is the difference between a flash flood and other types of
flooding. Flash flooding generally does not allow for the warning time that
can be given in a regular flood. Therefore, the risks associated with flash
flooding are substantially more severe.
Occurrence Unfortunately, the City of Waverly has had to deal with several flood events
in its history. According to the Flood Insurance Study for the City of
Waverly, the greatest floods occurring on the Cedar River before the 1990s
took place in the years 1945, 1961, and 1965. The flood of March 1961
reached a peak discharge of 37,000 cfs. Therefore, this flood would be
considered approximately a 25-year flood. Most damage from these floods
effected residential properties, with less damage to commercial, industrial,
and public property.
Dry Run Creek extends west from the Cedar River and is the other stream in
the community with a history of flooding. Again, according to the Waverly
Flood Insurance Study, Dry Run Creek flooded in 1947, 1951, 1961, 1968,
and 1979. The 1968 flood resulted in loss of life.
With the 1990’s came the worst decade in terms of flooding that Waverly
had ever experienced. The two greatest floods occurred in 1993 and 1999.
In 1999 there were actually two separate floods that inundated the city. The
first occurred in May and the next in July. The July event was estimated to
be a 100-year flood event. FEMA flood insurance payments for that summer
were in excess of 2.7 million dollars.
Due to the location of Waverly on the banks of the Cedar River and Dry Run
Creek the probability of flooding remains very high.
Those who are directly vulnerable to future flooding in the city include all
those residing in low-lying areas of the city. At greater risk are those with
businesses or houses within the 100 and 500-year flood zones as indicated on
the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) created by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA).
There are 51 streets that are either completely or partially in a flood hazard
area as identified by the October 1998 FIRM map. Those streets are:
24th St. NW 4th Ave. NW
20th St. NW 5th Ave. NW
16th St. NW 6th Ave. NW
13th St. NW 7th Ave. NW
12th St. NW 1st Ave. NE
9th St. NW 2nd Ave. NE
8th St. NW 2nd Ave. SW
7th St. NW 3rd Ave. SW
6th St. NW 4th Ave. SW
5th St. NW 5th Ave. SW
4th St. NW 6th Ave. SW
3rd St. NW 7th Ave. SW
2nd St. NW 8th Ave. SW
1st St. NW Crestwood Ave.
Adams Prkwy. 10th Ave. SW
Horton Rd. 2nd Ave. SE
1st St. NE 3 Ave. SE
2nd St. NE 4th Ave. SE
W Bremer Ave. 6th Ave. SE
E Bremer Ave. 7th Ave. SE
1st Ave. SW 8th Prkwy. SE
1st Ave. SE Jahnke Dr.
1st Ave. NW Harl Pl.
2nd Ave. NW 8th St. SE
3rd Ave. NW 12th St. SE
River Park Dr. ----------------
Threat Flooding would likely affect the entire city in some regard. Whether it is
closed roads resulting in limited access to business or residential areas or
simply the cost incurred by the community as a result to increased man-
hours, most of the city would be affected. The greatest threats of flooding
are that of the loss of life, limb, and loss of property.
As mentioned earlier, those who are at the greatest risk are those living in
identified flood zones. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has
delineated the probable extent of the 100-year flood hazard areas. These
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) show properties affected by the floods
that have at least a 1% chance of occurring in any particular year.
Impact Flooding impacts include loss of life; property damage and destruction;
damage and disruption of communications, transportation, electric service,
and community services; crop and livestock damage and loss and
interruption of business. Hazards of fire, health and transportation accidents,
and contamination of water supplies are likely effects of flooding situations.
Onset Flood warnings are disseminated from the National Weather Service,
IAWAS, and Tornado Spotters to the Bremer County/City of Waverly
Communications Center who, in turn, disseminates warnings to the affected
areas of the city and county, using established procedures.
People in the path of river floods may have time to take appropriate actions
to limit harm to themselves and their property. Floods may occur in the form
of flash flooding which can result in a matter of tens of minutes. Other
floods can be forecasted to allow for several hours, perhaps even days
Illustration 1: Upper Cedar Watershed Area
The Cedar River that runs through
Waverly is actually part of the larger
Upper Cedar Watershed Area. This
watershed area covers area in both
southern Minnesota and Northeastern
Illustration 2: Detailed Watershed Map
The illustration to the right shows a
more detailed map of the area that the
Upper Cedar Watershed is responsible
for draining. From Ramsey, MN to
Waverly, IA it is approximately 100
Below in Table 11, please note that
the information given for the gauge
information is from the Janesville site.
This was the only site that had historic
stream flow data available for the
Cedar River in Bremer County.
Table 11: Gauge Information
Cedar River at Janesville, Iowa
Station number: 05458500
latitude (ddmmss)............................. 42°38'54"
longitude (dddmmss)........................... 92°27'54" NAD27
state code.................................... 19
hydrologic unit code.......................... 07080201
basin name.................................... Upper Cedar
drainage area (square miles).................. 1,661
contributing drainage area (square miles)..... 1,661
gage datum (feet above NGVD29).................. 868.26
base discharge (cubic ft/sec)................. 4000
The City of Waverly now has a river gauge that provides real-time data. Unfortunately, this
gauge site is new enough that historic river heights and discharges were unavailable.
Therefore, information from the nearest gauge providing such information near Janesville,
Iowa was substituted. Although the peaks from this site may vary from the peaks that the City
of Waverly has experienced it should give a rather good picture of years historic high water in
the area. Please refer to Table 12 for Annual Recorded Peak flows from the Janesville site.
Table 12: Annual Recorded Peak Flows (Janesville, IA)
Water Stream Flow
Station Date Peak
1905 05458500 May 17, 1905 5,840 7.1
1906 05458500 Mar. 27, 1906 27,100 14.2
1915 05458500 May 31, 1915 7,220 8.9
1916 05458500 Jun. 2, 1916 12,100 11
1917 05458500 Mar. 24, 1917 21,900 13.8
1918 05458500 Mar. 20, 1918 7,400 9
1919 05458500 Apr. 10, 1919 6,870 8.7
1920 05458500 Mar. 28, 1920 6,190 7.3
1921 05458500 May 29, 1921 15,300 11.5
1923 05458500 Apr. 4, 1923 4,630 6.2
1924 05458500 Aug. 22, 1924 4,410 6
1925 05458500 Jun. 15, 1925 6,860 7.7
1926 05458500 Mar. 22, 1926 4,010 5.6
1927 05458500 May 28, 1927 4,630 6.2
1933 05458500 Apr. 1, 1933 33,300 16
1934 05458500 Apr. 6, 1934 11,200 9.9
1935 05458500 Mar. 5, 1935 9,580 9.1
1936 05458500 Mar. 24, 1936 11,200 9.8
1937 05458500 Mar. 8, 1937 12,000 11
1938 05458500 Sep. 17, 1938 8,910 8.8
1939 05458500 Mar. 17, 1939 7,500 9.4
1940 05458500 Apr. 1, 1940 4,410 6
1941 05458500 Apr. 20, 1941 8,890 8.7
1942 05458500 Jul. 16, 1942 10,100 9.3
1945 05458500 Mar. 17, 1945 34,300 16.2
1946 05458500 Sep. 9, 1946 14,700 11.3
1947 05458500 Jun. 13, 1947 12,200 10.14
1948 05458500 Mar. 1, 1948 25,100 14.1
1949 05458500 Mar. 7, 1949 14,000 11.4
1950 05458500 Mar. 28, 1950 20,200 12.7
1951 05458500 Apr. 9, 1951 25,000 14.05
1952 05458500 Apr. 2, 1952 14,700 10.74
1953 05458500 Aug. 6, 1953 15,000 10.8
1954 05458500 Jun. 22, 1954 18,400 12.08
1955 05458500 Mar. 14, 1955 4,430 5.16
1956 05458500 Apr. 5, 1956 3,530 4.46
1957 05458500 May 31, 1957 1,890 3.1
1958 05458500 Feb. 25, 1958 1,100 2.73
1959 05458500 Mar. 27, 1959 6,620 6.78
1960 05458500 Mar. 30, 1960 13,200 10.46
1961 05458500 Mar. 28, 1961 37,000 16.33
1962 05458500 Mar. 31, 1962 24,000 13.86
1963 05458500 Mar. 19, 1963 6,200 9.65
1964 05458500 Jun. 23, 1964 1,240 2.53
1965 05458500 Apr. 7, 1965 29,200 14.33
1966 05458500 Oct. 1, 1965 18,800 12.05
1967 05458500 Jun. 12, 1967 7,690 7.57
1968 05458500 Jul. 17, 1968 21,700 12.79
1969 05458500 Jul. 1, 1969 23,500 13.74
1970 05458500 Mar. 4, 1970 3,400 4.85
1971 05458500 Apr. 2, 1971 11,400 9.59
1972 05458500 Sep. 27, 1972 5,060 5.42
1973 05458500 Apr. 18, 1973 16,500 11.67
1974 05458500 Jun. 11, 1974 10,800 9.33
1975 05458500 Apr. 30, 1975 12,000 9.9
1976 05458500 Mar. 14, 1976 9,260 8.58
1977 05458500 Sep. 18, 1977 2,460 3.3
1978 05458500 Jul. 10, 1978 9,740 8.9
1979 05458500 Apr. 2, 1979 15,700 11.24
1980 05458500 Aug. 12, 1980 14,900 11.14
1981 05458500 Jul. 19, 1981 7,050 7.13
1982 05458500 Mar. 21, 1982 9,640 8.69
1983 05458500 Mar. 8, 1983 12,800 10.28
1984 05458500 Jun. 20, 1984 12,100 9.96
1985 05458500 Mar. 3, 1985 4,640 na
1986 05458500 Mar. 21, 1986 15,100 11.03
1987 05458500 Oct. 15, 1986 12,600 10.18
1988 05458500 Mar. 6, 1988 3,080 4.15
1989 05458500 Mar. 27, 1989 4,170 4.71
1990 05458500 Jul. 30, 1990 12,800 10.3
1991 05458500 May 20, 1991 14,500 10.98
1992 05458500 Mar. 11, 1992 8,830 8.31
1993 05458500 Aug. 18, 1993 35,000 15.74
1994 05458500 Jul. 23, 1994 5,690 6.29
1995 05458500 Apr. 15, 1995 4,450 5.16
1996 05458500 Jun. 21, 1996 4,250 4.88
1997 05458500 Mar. 25, 1997 11,000 9.52
1998 05458500 Jul. 1, 1998 10,700 8.83
1999 05458500 Jul. 22, 1999 42,200 17.15
2000 05458500 Jul. 13, 2000 17,000 11.91
*Peak flow data were retrieved from the National Water Data
Storage and Retrieval System (WATSTORE).
Gage heights are given in feet above gage datum elevation.
Discharge is listed in the table in cubic feet per second.
Table 13: Top 10 Peak Flow Recordings
Year Date Gage at Peak Discharge
1999 Jul. 22, 1999 17.15 42,200
1961 Mar. 28, 1961 16.33 37,000
1993 Aug. 18, 1993 15.74 35,000
1945 Mar. 17, 1945 16.2 34,300
1933 Apr. 1, 1933 16 33,300
1965 Apr. 7, 1965 14.33 29,200
1906 Mar. 27, 1906 14.2 27,100
1948 Mar. 1, 1948 14.1 25,100
1951 Apr. 9, 1951 14.05 25,000
1962 Mar. 31, 1962 13.86 24,000
Illustration 3: Iowa Tornadoes by County
Tornado/High Wind Event
a violent destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud
that progresses in a narrow path over the land or a violent windstorm
A tornado is an extremely violent wind that is generally identified
by its funnel shape. A funnel cloud becomes a tornado when it
makes contact with the ground. Tornados are most commonly
associated with cumulonimbus cloud formations and can occur in
conjunction with heavy rainfall, lighting, and hail. Tornados can
vary in size from a few yards at their base to as much as a mile
wide. The high winds that accompany tornadoes can result in the
loss of life, generally due to the projection of surface debris or the
destruction of occupied structures.
Tornadoes are generally measured in intensity by a rating scale
known as the Fujita Scale. The details of the Fujita Scale can be
found in Table 14.
Occurrence In the U.S., Iowa is ranked third in the number of strong-violent (F2-F5)
tornadoes per 10,000 square miles. From 1950-95, Iowa averaged 31
twisters per year. In Iowa most tornadoes occur in the spring and summer
months, but twisters can and have occurred in every month of the year.
Late afternoon to evening hour tornadoes are the most common, but they
can occur at any time of the day.
Bremer County has had 18 recorded tornadoes between 1950 and 1995.
They are listed in Table 15. There have been no recorded deaths in that
time period and no reports of injury due to tornados.
High winds have been responsible for at least two events that caused
extensive damage in the city. The first occurred in the mid 1980’s when a
roof was lifted off of a downtown business. Strong winds have caused
damage to houses in the Murphy Addition. In 1998, straight line winds of
approximately 78 miles per hour resulted in damage to doors on an airplane
hanger at the Waverly Municipal Airport.
There have been 18 recorded tornadoes in Bremer County in the past 40
years. That amounts to 6 events per decade. Because tornadoes are
sporadic there cannot be a reliable long-term prediction made as to when
they may occur. However, if the tornado events hold to their average,
Bremer County can expect a 45% chance of experiencing a tornado in any
Everyone is vulnerable to the powerful forces that accompany a tornado.
There are those who are more vulnerable than others. For example:
1. People in automobiles,
2. People in mobile homes,
3. People who may not understand warnings due to language barriers,
4. The elderly and very young, and
5. People with physical or mental impairments.
In the event of a tornado the City of Waverly operates outdoor early
warning sirens that, given enough time, allow people to search for suitable
shelter. The sirens are operable on a 24-hour basis.
Threat The maximum threat of a tornado usually occurs from a few hundred feet
to a mile away from the tornado. Much of the damage incurred during a
tornado event is often due to the accompanying hail, lighting, and wind
Impact Impacts can vary from broken tree limbs to the total destruction of
buildings and other structures.
Onset Tornado watches can warn of likely conditions hours in advance of an
upcoming storm. Although significant advances in meteorological
technology has allowed for much more effective forecasting, specific
tornadoes cannot be predicted with any precision any more than minutes
before they develop. The rapid change in direction a tornado can achieve
makes it difficult to say with certainty the path the tornado will continue on
even after it has been identified. Therefore warning time can sometimes be
very short or occasionally non-existent.
Table 14: Fujita Scale of Tornados
Category F0: Gale tornado (40-72 mph); light damage. Some
damage to chimneys; break branches off trees; push over shallow-
rooted trees; damage to sign boards.
Category F1: Moderate tornado (73-112 mph); moderate damage.
The lower limit is the beginning of hurricane wind speed; peel surface
off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving
autos pushed off the roads.
Category F2: Significant tornado (113-157 mph); considerable
damage. roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished;
boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object
Category F3: Severe tornado (158-206 mph); Severe damage. Roofs
and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned;
most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off ground and thrown.
Category F4: Devastating tornado (207-260 mph); Devastating
damage. Well-constructed houses leveled; structure with weak
foundation blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles
Category F5: Incredible tornado (261-318 mph); Incredible damage.
Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable
distance to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air
in excess of 100 yards; trees debarked; incredible phenomena will
Table 15: Bremer County Tornado Events
DATE TIME DEATH INJ. FUJITA SCALE
MAY 14, 1961 5 1710 0 0 F1
SEP 01, 1961 9 1540 0 0 F4
MAY 29, 1962 10 1810 0 0 F1
AUG 20, 1964 41 1545 0 0 F0
APR 19, 1966 4 1920 0 2 F2
SEP 09, 1970 19 1500 0 1 F2
JUL 12, 1971 31 1900 0 0 F2
JUN 04, 1973 13 1415 0 0 F1
NOV 09, 1975 32 1815 0 0 F1
JUN 07, 1977 20 1830 0 0 F1
JLY 16, 1977 28 2035 0 0 F2
APR 10, 1981 10 1912 0 0 F2
JLY 05, 1985 18 1540 0 0 F0
MAY 08, 1988 16 1315 0 0 F1
NOV 15, 1988 46 1850 0 0 F1
JUN 14, 1991 42 2315 0 0 F0
JUN 26, 1996 -- 1450 0 0 F0
JUN 27, 1998 -- 2157 0 0 F2
a shaking or trembling of the earth that is volcanic or tectonic in origin
Although earthquakes have not been an event that has affected Waverly in
the past, the community should be aware of the possibility that they can
occur. Ground shaking from earthquakes can collapse buildings and
bridges; disrupt gas, electric, and phone service; and sometimes trigger
flash floods and fires. Buildings with foundations resting on
unconsolidated landfill and other unstable soil, and trailers and homes not
tied to their foundations are at risk because they can be shaken off their
mountings during an earthquake.
Although earthquakes are generally associated with plate tectonics or
volcanic activity a third type includes artificial earthquakes. In other
words, a large explosion can cause the earth to quake resulting in
According to the Iowa Geological Survey, Plum Creek River Fault Zone
and Structural and Stratigraphic Framework of Eastern Iowa study volume
Number 13, printed in 1985, there are several areas with faults in Iowa. The
two that appear to be closest and could affect the community in this plan
are the Plum River Fault Zone and the Fayette Structural Zone. The
Fayette Structural Zone runs through Black Hawk County starting north of
the City of Waterloo, through the very southeast tip of Bremer County and
into Fayette County towards the City of Oelwein, at a diagonal from the
southwest to the northeast. The Plum River Fault Zone can be found below
Cedar Rapids and running east towards Rockford, Illinois.
Occurrence Only 12 earthquakes with epicenters in Iowa are known in historic times.
The first known occurrence was in 1867 near Sidney in southwest Iowa; the
most recent occurrence was in 1948 near Oxford in east-central Iowa. The
largest Iowa earthquake (Mercalli magnitude VI) occurred near Davenport
in southeast Iowa in 1934. None of these events were instrumentally
recorded. Although one of the events was to have been reported on January
26, 1925 in Waterloo that registered a magnitude of II (2) on the Mercalli
Historic seismicity in the upper Midwest in relation to the regional
structural geology from 1800 to present has been slight. Assuming historic
trends remain unchanged the likelihood of an earthquake causing any
substantial damage to the City of Waverly is minimal.
Because the likelihood of an earthquake is relatively low the population is
not likely to be vulnerable to an earthquake (Refer to Illustration 4). If an
earthquake were to take place, those most vulnerable would be those who
live in taller structures, structures with poor foundations, or structures built
on less solid ground such as floodplain silt.
Threat The maximum threat of an earthquake would still be rather minimal. It is
estimated that even if an earthquake did occur in this area, the effects
would be likened to that of a large truck passing on the street.
Impact When an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths and
injuries and extensive property damage. The impact in a city such as
Waverly would be minimized in that the buildings are generally not any
higher than three stories, with few exceptions.
Onset Onset of an earthquake cannot be accurately predicted and therefore
warning time for such an event would not exist.
Illustration 4: Earthquake Probability Chart
A storm including any one or more of the following that has a damaging
effect on daily activities: heavy snow, freezing rain, blowing snow, sleet, or
extremely low temperatures.
A winter storm can cause many problems for a city. Winter storms often
result in hazardous travel conditions. This alone can result in reduction of
access both to and from service organizations. Increased government
expenditure of time and money on such things as road clearing and
maintenance can also cause financial stress on communities.
Winter storms are most likely to occur between late October and late
Occurrence Waverly has experienced winter storms of some type every winter on
record. According to the National Climatic Data Center there have been 30
Snow and Ice events reported in Bremer County between January 11, 1993
and December 28, 2000. Over an eight year period that would average to
3.75 events per year. These snow and ice events have been responsible for
six deaths in the county over that period of time. Over that same time there
has been nine (9) reported “extreme” low temperature and wind-chill
events reported in the county.
December of 2000 brought with it record snows. Approximately 34 inches
of snow fell during the month. This is believed to have dwarfed the
previous record for snow in a month set in January of 1962.
The probability of a winter storm affecting the City of Waverly is almost
certain on an annual basis. Some winters have been historically worse than
others, but Waverly can expect at least several events per winter season.
Those most vulnerable to the effects of a winter storm are those who cannot
fend for themselves in times of severe weather. Example populations
would be the elderly or disabled who rely on outside entities for delivery of
food or medicine for their livelihood. People who work outdoors are also
at greater risk of being affected by wind chill, extreme low temperature,
and wet winter conditions.
Although the developments in technology have been very beneficial in
reducing the long-term negative effects of winter storms, certain dangers
still exist. The maximum threat of winter conditions would be realized if it
was accompanied by power outages and elimination of travel due to
hampered road conditions. This could result in the inability for some of the
population to maintain temperatures necessary for the body. In addition
long winter events that eliminate communication could result in the
reduction of adequate medical response time.
Depending on the type, duration, and the size of the event the entire
population could feel the effect of a winter storm. Generally, due to
existing snow removal services and other community services the affects of
winter storms on Waverly are short term. Although more of an
inconvenience, and somewhat more dangerous, travel and communication
is usually an option in less than 24 hours of any given event.
The National Weather Service has developed effective weather advisories,
which are promptly and widely distributed. Radio, TV, and Weather Alert
Radios provide the most immediate means to do this. Accurate information
is made available to public officials and the public up to days in advance.
Again, weather prediction capabilities have made significant improvements
in the past few years. There are several notifications made by the National
Weather Service. These include winter storm watch, winter storm warning,
blizzard warning, winter weather advisory, and a frost/freeze advisory.
a period of dryness especially when prolonged that causes extensive
damage to crops or prevents their successful growth (Webster)
There are three types of drought conditions that are relevant to Iowa.
Meteorlogic drought, which refers to precipitation deficiency; hydrological
drought, which refers to declining surface and groundwater supplies; and
agricultural drought, which refers to soil moisture deficiencies.
Droughts can be spotty or widespread and last from weeks to a period of
years. A prolonged drought can have serious economic impact on a
community. Increased demand for water and electricity may result in
shortages of resources. Moreover, food shortages may occur if agricultural
production is damaged or destroyed by a loss of crops or livestock. While
droughts are generally associated with extreme heat, droughts can and do
occur during cooler months.
Occurrence Since January of 1993 there has been only one recorded period of extreme
drought. This drought affected the entire state of Iowa and resulted in
approximately 500 million dollars in crop damage statewide. The event
occurred in August of 1995 and lasted approximately one month.
The average annual rainfall for Waverly is 32.9 inches with the vast
majority of this falling between April and September. Although, as
mentioned earlier, drought can occur in cooler months, it is most prevalent
in late summer when the temperatures are high and any moisture
evaporates a faster rate. The last recorded drought for the regions was in
the month of August. Although possible any given year, recent trends
would suggest that the likelihood of sustained drought is not likely in
Bremer County. Recent theories would suggest that the probability of
drought in this portion of the country hinges partially on larger global
weather anomalies such as global warming, el nino, and la nina in the
Those who depend on rain for their livelihood would be the most
vulnerable to a drought. This means that agriculture, agribusiness, and
consumers (if the drought lasted long enough or impacted a large area)
would be impacted. A drought limits the ability to produce goods and
provide services. Because Waverly draws its drinking water from surface
water and shallow ground water sources, a prolonged severe drought may
impact all citizens if there was a dramatic drop in the stream flow coupled
with the drop in the water table. Fire suppression can also become a
problem due to the dryness of the vegetation and possible lack of water.
Threat The maximum threat would likely extend far outside the borders of the City
of Waverly. Droughts generally affect a large region, as opposed to a small
area. Because Waverly lies in the middle of what is primarily an
agricultural county the maximum threat would come to those who work
directly with agriculture who rely on rainfall for their livelihood. As a
result of the negative affects of drought on the farmers in the area, those
who supply goods and services to the agricultural community would also
stand to suffer substantial financial losses. City services could also be
disrupted if the drought resulted in a lower water table, rendering wells
inefficient or not allowing enough water for adequate fire fighting
Impact Drought in the United State generally does not directly account for loss of
human life, although the extreme high temperatures that often accompany
droughts could cause severe physical stress and even death. More likely to
be affected are wildlife and domesticated animals which could be rendered
without water for drinking or without vegetation for consumption.
Onset Although many efforts are made to anticipate droughts it is nearly
impossible to be accurate with these predictions due to unlimited variable
that factor in to such a prediction. Warning time is not a concern with a
drought as the onset of drought can take weeks, months, and sometimes
even years to feel the effects.
To include Solar Flares, Heating Systems, Hazardous Materials, Fire,
Communications Failure, Dam Failure, Power Failure, etc.
This category is meant simply to bring attention to other possible hazards
that could have an affect on the City of Waverly.
Solar Flares happen on an irregular but predictable cycle. These flares
have the potential to interrupt all types of communications including radio
and television, plus public safety communications and the 911 system may
Many Heating Systems require the use of explosive gasses such as natural
gas or propane. The storage and transfer of these elements can result in
dangerous conditions and precautions should be taken.
Dam Failure would result in an increase amount of unregulated water flow
to the areas lying below the dam and would lower water levels above the
dam. This could be devastating in times of flooding and would be
inconvenient in times of low water flow.
Power Failure is a condition that often accompanies many of the natural
hazards already discussed. Ice, wind, and snow are capable of knocking
down power lines and therefore leaving businesses and residences without
power necessary for communications and heat. Although not foreseen as a
problem in the near future, over consumption of power could result in
brownouts or blackouts in certain areas of the city.
Hazardous Material spills and leaks are an event that can cause personal
injury, sickness, and even death. Common hazardous material found in the
region includes Anhydrous Ammonia, Nitrous Oxide, and other varying
chemicals used in household and industrial settings.
Occurrence During committee meetings there was discussion concerning the storage of
Hazardous Materials within city limits. As Waverly lies in an agricultural
community, storage of anhydrous ammonia is common. During the 1999
flood event the Northeast Iowa Hazardous Materials Team from Waterloo
was present for a herbicide spill at a building site near the river.
Since 1999 there have been two major recorded Solar Flare events. The
first occurred on March 6 th, 1989 and was associated with communication
interference around the world and disruption of power grids in Canada.
The second event was recorded on April 3, 2001. The extent to which this
most recent solar flare has affected earth is not known at this time.
The probabilities of most of these events are difficult to predict. Most of
the events can be prevented if proper precautionary steps are taken.
Unfortunately accidents still occur and the community should be prepared
for such occurrences.
Depending on the event, those living close to Hazardous Chemical and
Anhydrous Ammonia storage would be more vulnerable to exposure. The
risk would decrease with increasing distances from these facilities. Factors
such as wind direction and speed would have a significant impact on the
area affected by a spill.
Those living in closest proximity to the river would obviously be most
affected by a dam failure. Those with older or ill functioning heating units
would be more at risk of explosion or gas leaks. Solar flares and
communication breakdowns would likely leave the entire population
Generally speaking, structures built before the enforcement of building
codes may be at a higher risk for electrical fires or structure failure during
high wind or heavy snow load events.
Threat The maximum threat would exist when two or more of these events
occurred simultaneously. Response time of those mitigating the emergency
could be slowed or depleted.
Impact The impacts, depending on the hazard, could be limited to very few
individuals or could affect the entire region.
Onset The speed of onset could vary from minutes to years (in the case of solar
CURRENT MITIGATION ACTIVITIES
1. Emergency Services
Emergency Management Director
Bremer County’s Emergency Management Director is based out of the City of Waverly.
The Emergency Management Director works in conjunction with local fire, rescue, police,
and government officials to draft and implement workable emergency action plans in the
community. Although the Emergency Management Director is accountable to the entire
county, the location of the office in the Bremer County Courthouse is beneficial to the City
of Waverly. The current contact information is as follows:
Mr. Scott LaRue
Bremer County Courthouse
415 East Bremer
Waverly, Iowa 50677
Fire protection is provided for Waverly with an authorized force of 32 part-time firemen.
Fire equipment includes three fire fighting trucks, two tanker trucks, and one rescue unit.
The fire station is located in the central part of the city on the west side of the Cedar river.
Waverly’s rating for insurance is Class 5 within city limits.
Equipment used by the Waverly Fire Department include the following:
2 Pumper Trucks
4 x 4 Gras Rig
New Pumper Truck pending
Mutual Aid agreements have been signed with every fire department in Bremer County and
the Shell Rock Fire Department (Butler County).
Contact information for the Waverly fire department is as follows:
Waverly Fire Department
121 1st Street SW
Waverly, IA 50677
Waverly is served by one local hospital:
Waverly Municipal Hospital
312 9th Street NW
Waverly, IA 50677
There are six other hospitals available in a 25-mile radius of the City of Waverly. Within
Waverly Covenant Medical Center of Waterloo owns and operates a clinic. Furthermore,
there are clinics held at Waverly Municipal, and Integra Health has an office in Waverly.
These facilities are in addition to the many small doctor’s offices and small clinics in the
The hospital has a landing area for Life Flight helicopters. Helicopters arrive generally from
one of three hospitals; Mayo Clinic of Rochester, MN; Covenant Medical Center of
Waterloo, IA; and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics of Iowa City, IA.
Emergency rescue and ambulance service is provided by the hospital throughout and beyond
the city limits.
Police protection is provided by the Waverly Police Department, Bremer County Law
Enforcement, and the Iowa State Patrol. Currently, there are a total of 14 sworn officers and
1 full-time secretary serving the Police Department. The Police department shares a
building with the Bremer County Sheriff’s Department. Arthur C. Simpson is the acting
police chief for the department. Contact information is as follows:
Waverly Police Department
111 4th Street NE
Waverly, IA 50677
The outdoor early warning sirens were just recently entirely replaced. The first test of the
new system took place earlier this year, 2001. In addition to this state of the art warning
system, some facilities in the City of Waverly still maintain and use the Plectron Warning
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts are also available in the community. NOAA Radio’s
provide up to the minute weather related alerts. Other locations that warnings and watches
can be found are television, Internet, and radio (KWAY and KWAR are local broadcasts).
2. Property Protection
The city participated in the 1999 Flood recovery program by using money made available
through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Iowa Department
of Economic Development (IDED). The funds were used to purchase several homes in the city
along the Cedar River. The intent of buying out houses in the flood plain is to remove people
from harms way.
As a result of the 1999 Flood and a Federal Disaster Declaration the city is participating in a
Housing Buy Out program funded through FEMA, IDED, and the Iowa Emergency
Management Division (IEMD). There have been three phases of housing buyouts. The first
two required matching funds to the IEMD. The City developed a list of structures that would
be candidates for buyout. This list was then forwarded to FEMA where a cost/benefit analysis
was performed. Of these 35 structures, only three are commercial properties. To date six (6)
houses have been purchased and removed from the floodplain. Three houses are currently
pending sale. A list of these structures, available damage estimates, and purchasing progress
can be viewed in the following table (Table 16).
Table 16: Structures with Substantial Flood Risk
Total Pre-Flood Tax Building
# Structure Address Tagged (Y/N or
Assessed Value ($) Damage ($)
1 1400 Cedar Lane 129,320 21,000 Green No
2 1402 Cedar Lane 93,970 8,000 Green No
3 1605 Cedar Lane 62,340 24,000 Orange No
4 421 3rd St. SW 37,640 15,000 Red Yes
5 108 8th Ave. SW 45,190 9,500 Green No
6 114 8th Ave. SW 37,310 12,000 Yellow No
7 703 Crestwood Ave. 75,670 26,500 Yellow No
8 209 8th Parkway SE 73,400 35,000 Red No
9 205 8th Parkway SE 83,430 34,000 Red No
10 515 2nd St . SE 40,030 25,000 Orange Yes
11 120 6th Ave. SW 15,090 2,500 Green No
12 608 2nd St. SW 24,580 15,000 Red Yes
13 503 3rd St. SW 27,280 15,000 Red Yes
14 99 E. Bremer Ave. 33,870 3,500 Yellow No
15 505 & 507 2nd St. SE 42,010 30,000 Red Yes
16 105 8th Parkway SE 73,380 23,500 Yellow No
17 310 3rd St. SW 57,140 5,000 Yellow No
18 112 2nd Ave. NE 63,720 11,000 Green No
19 608 Crestwood Ave. 75,950 24,000 Yellow No
20 1413 Cedar Lane 64,320 25,000 Red No
21 309 4th Ave. NW 36,680 15,000 Red No
22 903 1st St. SW 52,880 22,000 Orange No
23 503 3rd St. SE 63,970 16,000 Yellow No
24 817 4th St. SE 66,430 27,000 Red Pending
25 204 7th Ave. SW 32,160 5,000 Green No
26 509 3rd St. SW 43,250 14,000 Yellow No
27 725 2nd St. SW 33,590 5,000 Green Pending
28 403 Crestwood Ave. 74,500 10,000 Yellow No
29 927 1st St. SW 66,280 15,000 Green No
30 521 3rd St. SW 50,510 15,000 Green Yes
31 509 3rd St. SE 77,480 14,000 Green No
32 115 1st St. NW 23,720 15,000 Orange Yes
33 213 4th Ave. SW 25280 13,000 Orange Pending
34 507 3rd St. SE 64070 27,000 Red No
35 934 1st St. SW 22680 12,000 Yellow No
-- TOTAL: * 1,889,121 589,500 -- --
*Total represents the estimated total for all of the above properties.
According to information obtained from the FEMA NFIP Repetitive Loss County Summary for
the State of Iowa (6/30/2001) the City of Waverly had nine properties claim 18 losses during the
1990’s. Cumulative NFIP payments as a result of the 1993 and 1999 flooding resulted in total
payments of $199,263.12 to the insured property owners. This figure included payments for
Building Damage ($187,357.28) and Contents Damage ($11,905.84). The average payment for
these claims was $11,070.17. These properties were dispersed throughout the community and
were all built prior to March 2 nd, 1981 (the date of Waverly’s entrance into the NFIP).
3. Flood Research
Although there have been many studies concerning flooding in Waverly, three studies in
particular have had a significant impact on the understanding and mitigation of problems in the
In 1980 the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducted a standard Flood Insurance
Study for the City of Waverly. The study looked at flooding from three primary sources: the
Cedar River, Unnamed Creek, and Dry Run Creek. The study reflects 100 and 500-year flood
levels for rivers and streams located in the unincorporated portions of Waverly. It is this study
and the corresponding Flood Insurance Rate Maps that are used to enforce the county’s flood
plain ordinance. These maps were updated in 1989 as part of a Flood Insurance Study for all of
In January of 1980 the Dry Run Creek Drainage and Flood Control Study was prepared for the
City of Waverly by Brice, Petrides & Associates, Inc. of Waterloo, IA. This study looked at the
flooding characteristics of Dry Run Creek in Waverly. It then delineated the flood plain and
identified flood problem areas. The plan then reviewed, in detail, solutions to the identified
Most recently, in wake of the 1999 Cedar River flooding in Waverly, a report was conducted in
order to identify projects that would mitigate the effects that future events would have on the
city. The report was simply titled Waverly Flood Study. It was prepared for the City of
Waverly by Stanley Consultants, Inc. This plan identified several projects and discussed impact
and funding of the projects. The solutions derived from this January 2001 study are
incorporated into the alternatives section of this plan.
4. Floodplain Management
On September 2nd , 1980 the City of Waverly became active members in the National Flood
Insurance Program (NFIP) by adopting its initial floodplain ordinance. The Federal Insurance
Administration manages the insurance component of the NFIP, and works closely with FEMA’s
Mitigation Directorate, which oversees the floodplain management aspect of the program.
The city updated the Floodplain Ordinance most recently in the year 1996. The Floodplain
Ordinance is a portion of the city’s Zoning Ordinance and is included in this document as
Attachment 1. In accordance with NFIP guidelines, the ordinance does not allow for new
construction within the floodplain. In addition, it requires those structures within the 100-year
flood to: (a.) “be adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement of the
structure”; (b.) “be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage”
and; (c) “be constructed by methods and practices that minimize flood damage.”
Floodplain management efforts have been made with the construction of several detention
ponds in Waverly. These detention ponds are thought to have a tremendous impact on the Dry
Run Creek flooding situation. Dry Run Creek is a creek that historically has flooded due to
heavy localized rains. The result is flash floods, much different than the floods of the Cedar
River, which usually are accompanied with substantial warning time. The detention ponds are
expected to help control the water in the Dry Run Creek area.
5. Other Mitigation Activities
The city has and enforces a building code. Currently there are no multi-story
buildings in the community over three stories tall. The grain elevator is the one
exception to this rule. It is expected that earthquake damage would be limited to the
shifting of buildings off of their foundations, cracked plaster on walls and ceilings,
and perhaps some bowed walls. Underground utilities would be at greater risk of
damage during the winter season if the ground was frozen to depths of four feet or
b. Tornado/High Wind Event
Tornadoes have been known to cause great destruction. They have been recorded
destroying entire buildings and it is not uncommon to hear of a tornado tearing off
the roof of a house. This being the case it is important that mitigation efforts are
made to protect people from this deadly force.
The most important measure in reducing the threat of injury is to be aware of the
oncoming danger. The City of Waverly has new sirens in place that cover the entire
populated area of the city. Each one of these sirens is equipped with a battery back
up to ensure operation in the event of a power failure. The County Emergency
Management Director or a designee thereof (dispatcher at Law Center) activates the
sirens in the event of a tornado.
In addition to siren alerts in the community there are also a wide variety of early
warning messages provided through local radio and television stations as well as the
cable Weather Channel. Furthermore, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio provides an alternative media source for
weather information. NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio
stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National
Weather Service office. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts National Weather Service
warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day.
There have been discussions during the preparation of this document on the
feasibility of educating the public about Tornado Safe Rooms. Properly built safe
rooms can provide protection against winds of up to 250 miles per hour and against
flying objects traveling as fast as 100 miles per hour. Some safe rooms have been
tested to withstand up the 450 mph winds. The idea behind safe rooms is that they
are built inside but separate from the main house. The walls and ceilings are extra
thick and strong so that the safe room remains standing and intact even if high winds
and flying objects destroy the rest of the house.
A tornado safe room may be built inside a house where it is easy to retreat to. It must
be anchored to the house foundation to resist overturning and uplift. The connections
between all parts of the shelter must be very strong and the walls, roof and door must
be strong enough not to be penetrated by flying objects.
Another option discussed was the feasibility of the construction of a large tornado
safe shelter at the community fairgrounds.
Information regarding how to protect ones self in the event of a tornado is largely
publicized in the form of flyers, radio, newspaper, and television announcements.
The following is an example of the types of actions that should be taken in the event
of a storm:
Tornado Safety Rules
In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as
If an underground shelter is not available, move to a small
interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a
sturdy piece of furniture. Put as many walls as possible between
you and the outside.
Stay away from windows.
Get out of automobiles.
Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car; instead, leave it
immediately for safe shelter.
If caught outside or in a vehicle, lie flat in a nearby ditch or
depression and cover your head with your hands.
Highway overpasses do not provide shelter from tornadic winds.
Be aware of flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes
most fatalities and injuries.
Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from
tornadoes. You should leave a mobile home and go to the lowest
floor of a sturdy nearby building or a storm shelter.
c. Winter Storm
The City of Waverly relies on forecasting efforts to predict the onset of a winter
storm. Current technology usually allows for days of notice before the arrival of a
major winter storm.
The NOAA estimates that approximately 70 percent of all deaths attributed to winter
storms occur in an automobile. Therefore the City of Waverly views proper snow
and ice removal from roadways to be essential in mitigating negative effects of these
events. Snow removal and ice prevention techniques are practiced by city and state
employees on the corresponding local and state roadways within the city limits. The
following is equipment currently at the disposal of the Waverly Public Works
department that can be used for snow and ice removal:
Two End Loaders
Seven Plow Trucks
Two Small Plows for One Ton Truck
Rotary Blower that can be mounted on and End
In an ideal winter storm scenario it is estimated that all of the city roads can be
adequately cleared within six hours or less barring continued moisture or high winds.
In this scenario travel would be reasonable in two hours time.
Drought is a concern for any community, but especially for communities with
agricultural ties. Drought can have extremely adverse affects on crops, livestock,
finances, and can even increase stress levels. The City of Waverly has never
experienced a drought of such magnitude that it had to take any significant measures
to mitigate the effects.
Fire and municipal water could be affected in the case of severe drought lowering the
water table to levels that would render the city wells ineffectual. The dam acts as a
mitigating effort against drought. The dam would provide a filling area that could be
accessed by fire fighting equipment if need be for quick access to water in times of
low water tables.
Under the auspices of the County Emergency Management office, Bremer County
has compiled a list of shelters within each community. The list includes such
information such as location, heating source, water source, overall capacity, sleeping
capacity, and feeding capacity. The details of the list can be found in full in the
“Contingency Plan for Bremer County.” The list of shelters within Waverly
included the following:
(a) St. Johns Lutheran Church – 311 4th Ave SW
(b) Trinity United Methodist Church – 1400 W Bremer Ave
(c) Bartels Home – 1922 5th Ave NW
(d) Waverly Municipal Hospital – 312 9th St SW
(e) Bremer County Courthouse – 415 E Bremer Ave
(f) Waverly-Shell Rock Jr. High School – 215 3rd St NW
(g) Wartburg College
i. Becker Science Hall – 111 10th St. NW
ii. Field House – 1015 2nd Ave NW
iii. Knights Gym – 231 10th St. NW
iv. Luther Hall – 200 9th St NW
It should be noted that there are several other structures that could serve as suitable
shelters in certain events. The above list are those structures which meet the specific
requirements of a fallout shelter as defined by the State of Iowa.
Waverly currently has in place 911 Emergency Assistance. The 911 System is
administered through the City of Waverly-Bremer County Law Office. Other
communications used by city personnel include pagers, radios, and cellular phones.
Radio, television, cellular telephones, landline telephones, newspapers, warning
sirens, and NOAA Radio Service are available to the public at large.
Communication of upstream river depths has been important in being able to predict
river levels. With a river gage in Charles City (upstream on the Cedar River from
Waverly) and a newly placed river gage near the Horton Road bridge forecasting
river crests has become a very accurate endeavor. The advancement of real-time
data has been very influential in these efforts.
During past hazards such as the 1999 Flood, emergency services were coordinated
from the public works department, which also serves as the emergency response
center. This facility is old and not an ideal venue for coordinating disaster services.
The committee identified the need for a new or alternative site from which to
coordinate these activities.
On June 19th, 2000 an official Flood Communication Protocol was officially adopted
by the City Council of the City of Waverly. This document was prepared in order to
develop a consistent method for notice to citizens regarding high water and flood
conditions on the Cedar River. This document can be seen as a portion of this
document. Please refer to Attachment
The newest form of communication available in Waverly is that of the Internet. The
City has developed a website in order to keep it’s citizens, and other interested
parties, aware of local and government affairs. The website address is
MITIGATION GOALS & ALTERNATIVES
A. Flood Mitigation
1. Continue acquisition and removal of homes from the floodplain.
2. Continue Participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
3. Maintain, enforce, and update Zoning Ordinance as needed.
4. Ensure proper training and certification of Floodplain Manager(s).
5. Development of a Storm Water Management Program.
6. Flood proofing of structures in the floodplain.
7. Replacement or Increase Capacity of 3 rd Street Bridge.
8. Kohlmann Park Levee/Floodwall*
9. Left Bank Flood Walls*
10. Replace the Power Dam*
11. Raise 7th Ave. SE*
12. Cedar Lane Bike Path
* Alternative and discussion taken from 2001 Waverly Flood Study.
B. Earthquake Mitigation
1. Systematically review and make necessary updates to building code
2. Improve public awareness of proper steps to be taken in the event of an
C. Tornado and High Wind Mitigation
1. Systematically review and make necessary updates to building code
2. Develop a “Tornado Safe Room” awareness program.
3. Develop a NOAA Weather Radio awareness program.
4. Improve public awareness of proper steps to be taken in the event of a possible
D. Provide Superior Emergency Services
1. Purchase and install additional outdoor warning sirens as necessary to ensure
coverage to areas of future growth.
2. Regularly review and amend Fire, Medical, and Hazardous Material response
standard operating procedures.
3. Maintain existing mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities.
4. Install Global Positioning Systems in all emergency vehicles.
5. Acquire a new venue for Emergency Disaster Coordination.
ANALYSIS OF MITIGATION ALTERNATIVES
A. Flood Mitigation
Alternative 1: Continued acquisition and removal of homes from the floodplain.
The Hazard Mitigation Planning committee recognized this alternative as the
most feasible and cost efficient alternative to future flood damage in the
community. Recent acquisitions, with money made available as a result of
Disaster Declaration 1282, have already greatly reduced potential damage
that could be inflicted by future flood events. Although these programs have
been successful with 7 properties having been acquired in the flood zone
already. Many more properties that have been identified for possible
attainment have yet to be purchased due to insufficient funding.
The City of Waverly intends on continued pursuit of the necessary funding in
order to remove more flood prone structures from harms way. The city will
anxiously await further Federal support to finance the removal of the rest of
the identified structures in city.
Alternative 2: Continue Participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The City of Waverly has been a participating member in the National Flood
Insurance Program (NFIP) since May of 1977. Continued participation in the
NFIP is considered to be vital to the financial well being of the community.
The flood insurance offered through this program provides needed financial
relief to those who carry the insurance and are negatively affected by flood
Although there are costs to the community associated with meeting NFIP
performance standards, often the increased costs are offset by other benefits
such as insurance availability, improved views, and reduced potential for loss
of life or property.
Alternative 3: Maintain, enforce, and update Zoning Ordinance as needed.
The Zoning Ordinance is a reflection of the City’s long term land use
planning. Through zoning a city is able to restrict particular types of land use
in certain areas. Appropriate zoning initiative can also be used to direct
growth to more appropriate areas where the chances of a flood hazard are
substantially reduced. Furthermore the Zoning Ordinance can encourage the
placement of parks, campgrounds, trails, and other green space activity closer
to flood prone areas where the view is often more scenic. These uses, while
an asset to the community, are not likely to sustain long-term damage from
It is the feeling of the City Engineer and the Planning Committee that this
may be the most effective strategy in reducing the effects of flooding along
the Dry Run Creek. As more area of the city is developed the water is more
efficiently routed as to not cause flash flooding. This is a case where
development is actually anticipated to help the flooding situation.
Alternative 4: Ensure proper training and certification of Floodplain Manager(s).
Currently the city employs one individual who has the responsibility of
ensuring that the Floodplain Ordinance is adhered to. The city should ensure
that the individual(s) charged with this duty has up to date training and
certification so that proper enforcement of the ordinance is applied and
accurate information can be relayed to interested parties.
Alternative 5: Development of a Storm Water Management Program.
The development of a storm water management program .is not yet required
for cities the size of Waverly. This being said, it is likely that it will be a
requirement in the not so distant future.
A storm water management program would include several different
requirements. First, it would involve a public education and outreach plan.
Second, the development of the program would require public involvement
and participation. Third, steps would have to be taken to detect and eliminate
illicit discharge from storm water drainage before it entered its primary water
body (in the case of Waverly; the Cedar River). Fourth, some sort of post
construction storm water management would need to be in place. Finally,
pollution prevention/good housekeeping education and oversight would need
to be provided for all municipal operations.
Alternative 6: Flood proofing of structures in the floodplain.
This alternative is viewed less attractive than the removal of these structures
from the floodplain altogether. Although it is a less desirable alternative, it is
still considered a possibility for those structures that are immovable or for
those homeowners who do not wish to relocate.
Many people may not be aware of some of the measures that can be taken to
flood proof a facility. For instances such as this, efforts should be made to
educate the general public as to their options.
Alternative 7: Replacement or Increased Capacity of 3 rd Street Bridge.
This alternative was considered due to the bridge holding water back from
flowing downstream and out of the community during the 1999 flooding.
The Iowa DNR has specific regulations that state new bridges must have
three foot clearance between the 50 year flood stage and the lowest point on
the bridge. According to the 2001 Waverly Flood Study, that makes the
replacement of this bridge at its current location more difficult. Four
specific alternatives are actually being studied at this time. These alternatives
include leaving the bridge as it currently is, raising the current structure,
change bridge to pedestrian use only, or build an entirely new structure at an
alternative location. More details of this project can be found by referencing
the 2001 Waverly Flood Study prepared by Stanley Consultants Incorporated.
Alternative 8: Kohlmann Park Levee/Floodwall
This alternative is attractive due to the fact that it is estimated that this project
could protect as many as 400 homes that were flooded during the 1999 flood
events. The negative aspects of this particular project are primarily based
upon the concern of sacrificing the natural aesthetics of the riverside park.
The levee design, as described in the 2001 Waverly Flood Study, call for the
levee to be built three feet above the 100-year flood level. This would result
in an eight-foot embankment in the park. The construction of this
embankment would eliminate the view of the river, result in the destruction
of most of the trees in the park, and require the placement of fill in the
floodway. More details of this project can be found by referencing the 2001
Waverly Flood Study prepared by Stanley Consultants Incorporated.
Alternative 9: Left Bank Flood Walls
The placement of flood walls along the left bank of the river, across from
Kohlmann Park would likely result in the benefit of protecting approximately
25 homes from flooding. This alternative would require the construction of a
wall, in two segments, from the powerhouse to the City Office Building
embankment and then from the north end of that embankment to the railroad
embankment. More details of this project can be found by referencing the
2001 Waverly Flood Study prepared by Stanley Consultants Incorporated.
Alternative 10: Replace the Power Dam
Replacement of the Power Dam is seen as an attractive alternative. The idea
behind this replacement would be to construct a rubber inflatable dam in
place of the current dam. This would allow the dam to be deflated during
high water events thus allowing more water to escape downstream at a faster
rate. Then, during normal flow, the dam could be inflated in order to
maintain appropriate pool levels.
There where two alternatives identified for the dam construction. The first
required the construction of a 7.7-foot high dam. This alternative predicted
that it would be able to contain a 100-year flood event almost entirely within
the river channel. The second option called for the construction of a 5.5 foot
dam with additional freeboard in the form of three foot high levees along the
river. This would be a lower cost alternative that would still maintain the
view of the river in the nearby communities.
More details of this project can be found by referencing the 2001 Waverly
Flood Study prepared by Stanley Consultants Incorporated.
Alternative 11: Raise 7th Ave. SE
The elevation of this street was considered to protect houses in and around
Crestwood Park. During the 1999 flood event many of these homes were cut
off from access due to water overflowing the aforementioned avenue. This
street could be elevated approximately two feet in order to keep these
structures accessible during flood events up to and including a twenty year
flood event. More details of this project can be found by referencing the
2001 Waverly Flood Study prepared by Stanley Consultants Incorporated.
Alternative 12: Cedar Lane Bike Path
Two options were identified for the Cedar Lane Bike Path in the 2001
Waverly Flood Study. The first option was to widen Cedar Lane by 14 feet.
The second option called for the construction of a 14-foot wide bench at the
approximate 5-year flood level. The construction of the bike trail would
provide an excellent addition to existing facilities for recreational purposes.
These two options were initially discouraged by the Department of Natural
Resources because both alternatives would likely require fill to be placed in
the floodway. Construction methods that would satisfy floodplain
requirements and still provide adequate facilities are being explored.
B. Earthquake Mitigation
Alternative 1: Systematically review and make necessary updates to building code
The development and application of Building Codes are the most vital
mitigating activity in the effort to curb earthquake and tornado damage.
Although the chance of an earthquake affecting the City of Waverly is
unlikely, the need to keep building codes current is not reduced. Therefore
this alternative is viewed as easily achievable and necessary action.
Alternative 2: Improve public awareness of proper steps to be taken in the event of an
Public officials should develop a plan of action to ensure public awareness of
the necessary precautions that should be taken in the event of an earthquake.
Such a plan may include a short lesson provided through the local school
system to children. Other ideas commonly used for public awareness include
pamphlets and public notices.
C. Tornado and High Wind Mitigation
Alternative 1: Systematically review and make necessary updates to building code
Building codes are constantly changing. Therefore, in order to provide
minimum standards for the protection of life, limb, property, environment,
and for the safety and welfare of the general public, building codes should be
occasionally updated. This will allow the codes to reflect the safest known
construction methods without restricting growth.
Alternative 2: Develop a “Tornado Safe Room” awareness program.
The majority of the houses in Waverly are probably built in accordance with
the local building codes that consider the effects of minimum, “code-
approved” design winds in the area. Building codes require that buildings be
able to withstand a “design” wind event. A tornado or extreme hurricane can
cause winds much greater than those on which local code requirements are
based. Having a house built to “code” does not mean that the house can
withstand wind from any event, no matter how extreme.
Tornado Safe Rooms can greatly reduce the chance of bodily injury
associated with a tornado. Having a shelter, or a safe room, built in a house
can help individuals and families protect themselves from injury or death
caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds. It can also relieve some of
the anxiety created by the threat of an oncoming tornado or hurricane.
Citizens should be made aware of the risks associated with tornados and the
steps that they can take to reduce these risks. The knowledge of the
availability of Tornado Safe Rooms would be a great stride towards that goal.
Alternative 3: Develop a NOAA Weather Radio awareness program.
Although not exclusively for protection from Tornado or High Wind events,
the NOAA Weather Radio provides an excellent source of information
regarding up to date weather related events. Awareness of this resource
should be considered a priority in order to allow citizens to be well informed
and therefore able to take appropriate shelter in advance of storm conditions.
Alternative 4: Improve public awareness of proper steps to be taken in the event of a
This alternative is currently taking shape in the form of frequent public
service announcements on local radio and television stations. The
development and/or continuation of a youth tornado awareness program
should be considered in order to educate the youth of Waverly. Flyers and
mailers are often used to get relevant information to the public at large in
addition to local media outlets.
D. Provide Superior Emergency Services
Alternative 1: Purchase and install additional outdoor warning sirens as necessary to ensure
coverage to areas of future growth.
The purchase and installation of additional outdoor warning sirens is not
necessary at this time. The community currently has adequate outdoor siren
coverage. The sirens can be heard throughout the community and are
equipped with a battery back up system to be used in the case of a power
However, the committee recognizes the possibility of future addition to this
system if the city expands to areas that are currently not covered. This is a
precautionary alternative that will be utilized only if the population migrates
outside the coverage area, yet within city limits.
Alternative 2: Regularly review and amend Fire, Medical, and Hazardous Material response
standard operating procedures.
The regular review of the standard operations regarding disaster response is a
necessary step in ensuring that the appropriate measures are taken in time of
disaster. The plans should be reviewed to ensure the maximum level of
response and the plans should be coordinated so as not to interfere or overlap
responsibilities between responsible parties, unless that is the intent of the
Alternative 3: Maintain existing 28E agreements with surrounding communities for mutual
The City of Waverly currently holds several agreements with surrounding
communities to provide and be provided mutual assistance in times of
disaster. The communities within Bremer County have been and should
continue to cooperate to ensure mutual assistance to one another.
Alternative 4: Install Global Positioning Systems in all emergency vehicles.
The installation of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) would speed response
routes and allow for easy monitoring of the location of said emergency
vehicles. This alternative is especially attractive when the city fire
department must travel to rural areas that may or may not be familiar to the
driver of the unit.
Alternative 5: Acquire a new venue for Emergency Disaster Coordination.
The current emergency response center is located in the public works facility.
The structure is old and does not provide the necessary amenities necessary
to provide the best service possible. Therefore the solution considered for
this problem involved either the construction of a new site to carry out such
activities or perhaps locate a preexisting site that would provide the necessary
facilities (i.e. phone connections, adequate room, internet accessibility, radio
communication equipment, etc.).
In addition, an alternative sight should be identified in the case that the
primary sight is rendered unusable for any number of reasons. This would
help to ensure that coordination in times of disaster goes as smoothly as
FUNDING OF ALTERNATIVES
Funding Sources Viability
Federal State Local Good,
Alternative Funds Funds Funds Fair, or Comments
($) ($) ($) Poor
Acquisition and NA Will likely require a Good Housing buyouts
Removal of combination of funding are currently under
Structures from resources from all three levels way. Cost will
Flood Zone of government of which the vary depending on
majority will need to be access to funding.
acquired from federal funding
Continue NFIP 625 625 Good $125 annual
Maintain, Enforce, 75,000 75,000 Good Cost reflects staff
and Update Zoning time for review
Ordinance and counsel.
Systematic Review 500 500 Good Cost reflects staff
of Hazard Response time for review
Policies and counsel.
Ensure Proper 0* 0* Good *Cost accounted
Training of Flood for in NFIP
Plain Managers Membership
Development of 275,000 275,000 Poor May be soon
Storm Water required by law.
Flood Proofing of NA NA Fair Many alternatives
Structures in the available
Floodplain depending on
3rd Street Bridge 2 million 2 million Fair Several
Alternatives alternatives being
Kohlmann Park 742,000 742,000 Fair Aesthetics aside,
Levee/Floodwall. seems to be very
Left Bank 438,750 438,750 Poor Cost/benefit ratio
Floodwalls not as attractive as
Replace Power 1.4 million 1.4 million Good Another very
Dam attractive option
that may salvage
view from park.
Cedar Lane Bike 675,981 675,981 Fair Must satisfy DNR
Elevation of 7th 65,000 65,000 Good Can be
Ave. SE accomplished
Systematic Review 1,200 1,200 Good Cost reflects staff
and Update of time for review
Building Codes and counsel.
Improve Public 1,100 1,100 Good Likelihood of
Earthquake occurrence reduces
Awareness cost/benefit ratio.
“Tornado Safe 1,100 1,100 Good Cost reflects cost
Room” Awareness of publication and
Develop NOAA 1,100 1,100 Good Cost reflects cost
Weather Radio of publication and
Awareness Program dispersal.
Improve Awareness 1,100 1,100 Good Cost reflects cost
of Proper Steps to of publication and
be taken during a dispersal.
Purchase and 15,000 per 15,000 per Poor Currently adequate
Installation of siren siren coverage within
Additional Outdoor city limits.
Regular Review 500 500 Good Cost reflects staff
and Update of Fire, time for review
Medical, and and counsel.
Maintain Existing 1,250 1,250 Good Cost reflects staff
Mutual Aid review, legal
Agreements for counsel, and
Emergency Support recording fees.
Install GPS Units in 250,000 250,000 Fair Likely will
Emergency cooperate with all
*Many of these projects may be eligible for state and federal assistance at some time. For the purposes
of this plan only funds currently secured are listed in the state and/or federal assistance columns. All
other costs are contained under local funding until alternative funding sources are identified.
MITIGATION RECOMMENDATIONS SUMMARY
The following summary serves as a recommendation from the preparing body. Many
alternatives were identified and discussed. The summary acts as a priority list of which
projects should be considered most important for the life of this plan.
Waverly has come through the most flood-stricken decade in its entire history during the
1990’s. Therefore, it is necessary to view flooding as the most substantial threat to the
health and well being of the community and its residents. Although the other hazards are
continually a threat to the community, the lack of historical occurrence in comparison to
flooding demands that flood mitigation be the priority.
Recommendation #1, #2, #3, #4 and #5
► Acquisition and Removal of Structures From Flood Plain (Short Term)
► Rubber Dam (Short Term)
► Kohlmann Park Levee (Short Term)
► East Bank Floodwall (Short Term)
► Raise 7th Avenue SE (Short Term)
Currently, and into the foreseeable future, the acquisition and removal of structures from the
flood zone is the most viable hazard mitigation alternative available. Four reasons support
this conclusion. First, it eliminates the reoccurrence of financial loss done to structures that
have been repetitively damaged and repaired by numerous flood events. Second, it lessens
the likelihood of the loss of life. If less people live in the flood zone, less people have the
chance of being flooded. Third, the boundaries of the project are easily identifiable. Past
flood studies clearly define which areas of the city are at risk of flood hazard. Finally, there
is financial assistance available to the city for this program. As a result of the past flood
events, Waverly is eligible, and have taken advantage of federal funds that followed
Presidential Declared Emergencies.
The next four recommendations all come as a result of the 2001 Waverly Flood study as
prepared for the city by Stanley Consultant’s Incorporated. The engineers who drafted the
flood study recognized these recommendations as the three most legitimate alternatives.
These alternatives stand to remove hundreds of homes and thousands of people out of harms
way. Therefore they cannot be easily disregarded. More in-depth study and analysis will
have to be performed in order to accomplish these goals. Furthermore, federal assistance
will most likely be required in order to accomplish these goals.
Recommendation #6, #7, and #8
► Routine Review and Update of Ordinances and Plans (Continuing)
► Maintenance of Mutual Aid Agreements (Continuing)
► Continue NFIP Membership (Continuing)
Many of the alternatives explored in this plan are a matter of routine. For example, Waverly
currently updates its Building Codes as necessary and regularly reviews the Zoning
Ordinance. Nevertheless, the need for these systematic tasks to continue is essential to
keeping the community as safe as possible. Therefore, they are included in this plan as a
reminder to their importance and to ensure their continuation.
► Improve Public Awareness (Short Term & Continuing)
Several of the alternatives explored in this plan are simply intended to attain goals of having
a more informed public. Public awareness of disaster includes both being notified when a
disaster is occurring or about to occur. Perhaps more important is the awareness that is
achieved long before the onset of any peril. The public awareness alternatives are attractive
from a couple of standpoints. First, they are of minimal cost to the community. Second,
they are very effective in helping ordinary citizens to mitigate disasters without government
assistance, which can result in lower post hazard mitigation costs to the community.
► Development of a Storm Water Management Program (Long Term)
The development of a Storm Water Management Program is recommended as a long-term
goal for two primary reasons. First, it is likely that sometime in the future cities the size of
Waverly will be required to implement this program. Having knowledge of the
requirements called for in the implementation phases of a project such as this will benefit the
city when that time comes. Second, the cost of implementing a program such as this is
expensive and will require some type of funding from the local government. The sooner
that the city begins planning for funding of this program, the less traumatic it will be if it is
required in the future. Several larger cities in the region have already starting implementing
Storm Water Management Programs and could be used for reference if necessary.
Acquisition and Removal of Structures From Flood Plain
Kohlmann Park Levee
East Bank Floodwall
Routine Review and Update of Ordinances and Plans
Maintenance of Mutual Aid Agreements
Continue NFIP Membership
Improve Public Awareness
Development of a Storm Water Management Program
Phasing is a budgetary responsibility of the City Council or designated appointee
who will review the projects annually. For projects that are entirely funded by local
funds or require a local match commitment, the city should begin setting aside the
appropriate resources to meet their liability.
The responsibility for reviewing and implementing this plan falls with the City
Administration and the City Council.
Projects should be reviewed for progress and update on an annual basis.
5. Next Steps
The City Council should review the effect of this Plan on existing codes and/or
ordinances and officially adopt the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.
MITIGATION PLAN EVALUATION COMMENTARY
Periodic Evaluation of Progress
As part of the budget process, the city prepares a multi-year Capital Improvements Program.
Mitigation projects should be included in the process.
Plan Review and Update
This Hazard Mitigation Plan will be incorporated into the city’s Community Strategic Plan,
which includes such items as the Community Builder Plan, Housing Needs Assessment,
Land Use Plan, and Capital Improvements Program. This will ensure the systematic review
and update of this and other plans.
Statement of Progress
Waverly has made tremendous progress in recent years on its efforts to mitigate hazards.
This is due largely to the fact that they have had to face several major floods in the most
recent decade. Through these experiences the city has developed a new appreciation for the
benefits that sound land use planning and the effectiveness of up to date Building and
Zoning Codes. Waverly has received the task of preparing this plan, as a welcome step in
identifying the future needs of the community. The community is mindful that the identified
projects outlined in this plan are an important step in the road leading to a disaster resistant