Our Role in Flood Mitigation
The Department of Public Works coordinates Flood Control for the City of Des Moines. They monitor river levels and levees, implement closures when necessary (including swing gates, panels, pallet barriers, earth, and sandbags), and they proactively inform the public.
River Level Monitoring & Reporting
The US Geological Survey Bureau operates and maintains 6 stream gages used by the City of Des Moines to determine when to begin flood fighting activities.
The City of Des Moines utilizes river gages at the following locations: Raccoon River at Fleur Dr, Des Moines River at 2nd Ave, and Des Moines River at SE 6th St.
The City of Des Moines is involved in an Early Flood Warning System along with Clive and West Des Moines. This system indicates rain intensity and river/creek stage levels of Four Mile Creek and Walnut Creek.
The Department of Public Works coordinates time appropriate flood related updates to assist and advise Des Moines residents. These updates include information about river levels, the status of levees, road closures, and advisories.
For current information please view our Road & Trail Closure Map.
The Army Corps of Engineers will be replacing the Central Place and the Birdland levees. The new levees will provide improved, higher-level protection with increased height and enhanced structural integrity.
Construction on both levees will be performed in such a manner that the contractor will be able to provide interim flood protection in the event of high river levels.
Birdland Levee Improvements
The design has been completed on the Birdland levee and a construction contract has been awarded. Construction is expected to take 770 calendar days, weather permitting.
Central Place Levee Improvements
The Central Place levee is in final design review and once it is finalized will be released for bidding. Construction time is expected to be 550 days, weather permitting.
Levee Improvement Questions
If you have questions levee reconstruction projects, please contact the Public Works 24 hour customer service center at (515) 283-4950. You may also contact Public Works by email .