The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 1, 2013

Water woes hit Ashford Univ. field

CLINTON — The offices at Ashford University Field are prone to flooding when the area receives significant amount of rain on top of already elevated river levels. It's learning how to live with that flooding that must be hashed out, city and LumberKings officials decided.

The offices at the stadium, which sit at a low spot, have flooded five times in the last five years during periods when the river level was slightly elevated and the area received intense rains.

After the latest flood at the stadium, City Council members have chosen to pay for $10,300 in damage at the facility, which is city owned and leased by the Clinton LumberKings Baseball Club. Although they agreed to pay the bills, city officials don't want similar expenses in the future, sending them back to re-examine plans that will reduce the amount of flood damage.

"The real issue is the water level in Joyce's slough, as it continues to rise, basically diminishes the capacity and forces water to build up higher to get the flow out," Dave Dechant with HDR Engineering told members of the City Services Committee last week.

Dechant went on to detail the circumstances surrounding the flooding events that have occurred. When the offices flooded in July 2011, the river level was at 12.5 feet and the area experienced heavy rain in a short amount of time.

"Even with the river stage down at 12.5 feet, that 3.4 inches of rain in two to three hours overwhelmed the system. In the other events we had levels around 14 feet, but we had an inch to an inch and a half of rain," Dechant said.

According to Water Quality Superintendent Dan Riney, when river levels reach 15.3 feet and there is a significant rain, there is a chance the stadium will flood. If the flood gates had been in at that level this year they would have gone in on May 28 and still been in place today. During 2011, the gates would have been in from March 22 to Aug. 18.

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