Weather

Chad Johnston/ iamthechad / Flickr

Houses in Iowa are taking on water from yesterday's heavy storm, but even if basements aren't flooded homes can still be damaged by moisture.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with home improvement expert Bill McAnally about the problems moisture can cause, as well as danger signs and what to do if a home has been effected by moisture or storm damage. Also, McAnally talks about preventing moisture problems when building or renovating a home.

Emily Woodbury

Many of this summer’s blockbusters are set in a post-apocalyptic world, including “This is the end”, “World War Z”, “After Earth”, and “Elysium”.

Today on River To River, we take a look at why this is such a common theme this year. Host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowans who are prepared to face an apocalyptic scenario, and he sits down with an Iowa Homeland Security rep, to find out how prepared the state of Iowa is for disaster.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

It has been five years since the floods of 2008. Now, a week after another round of flooding in Eastern Iowa, IPR’s Durrie Bouscaren looks at how many Iowans are adapting to changing times.

More than a thousand runners participated in “Run the Flood,” an annual race through Cedar Rapids to commemorate the anniversary of a flood that would change the landscape of many Iowa cities and towns. Carmen Covington says she participates every year.

“It was shocking,” Covington said. “It was sad to see everything I had known my entire life to be destroyed under so much water,”

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

Last summer many wild animals suffered because of a lack of water, this year nests have been washed out and wild babies have been separated from their mothers through floods and storms. Host Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease about how natural disasters affect the boom and bust cycles of Iowa's wildlife populations.

Penn State / flickr

Last week, three professional storm chasers died in an Oklahoma tornado that was more than two and a half miles wide. Prominent meteorologist Tim Samaras, his son, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young, were among twenty people killed by the storms that hit Oklahoma on Friday. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa State meteorologist, Bill Gallus, about the work of Tim Samaras and the values and risks of storm chasing.

Flood Review and Outlook

Jun 3, 2013
Dean Borg / Iowa Public Radio

Iowans have been evacuating homes, filling sandbags, and praying to avoid a disastrous summer as rivers, creeks, and waterways surge out of their banks. Join host Ben Kieffer to hear stories from communities affected by this the wettest spring on record.  You also get a big picture look at what’s happening across the state and what’s to come from Iowa flood experts. 

Saving Our Stuff

Jun 3, 2013
Pauline Cockrill / flickr

Time takes a toll on everything, buildings, books, photos and other mementos of the past.  Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks about preserving our history by “Saving our Stuff.”  She sits down with experts to talk about taking care of our personal treasures as well as those that teach us about our communities and our state.

Photo by Dean Borg


 



 

KWWL TV

Public safety officials have evacuated the Butler County town of New Hartford due to rising flood waters of Beaver Creek that runs just west of town.  All 650 residents have been asked to voluntarily leave much as they did almost exactly five years ago. Mitch Nordmeyer is the Butler County Emergency Management Director, he talks with Iowa Public Radio’s Pat Blank

Liam Kieffer

The deadly tornado earlier this week in Oklahoma recalls other recent tornado disasters in the Midwest. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with survivors of the devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri in 2011…and the twister that struck the Parkersburg/New Hartford area here in Iowa 5 years ago. Some experts join the conversation as well, to shed more light on the effect of the EF5 tornado that tore through Oklahoma.

Courtesy photo

Residents of Parkersburg and nearby towns that were hit by an EF5 tornado five years ago are remembering the events of that day as information pours in from Moore, Oklahoma.  Parkersburg City Clerk, Chris Luhring says he believes part of the healing process involves helping others when you can, " I think our goal for Moore, Oklahoma is to feel our love and support and our prayers for them, people here don’t do it for the credit, they’re just leaving in the middle of the night to help and to raise some funds." Seven people were killed in Parkersburg and two died in nearby Ne

Paige Fevold Hill

It took less than an hour for a line of thunderstorms moving across Northeast Iowa Monday morning to cause thousands of dollars in damage. Hail the size of ping pong balls was the source of the devastation.

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

After two major flooding events for Iowa in 1993 and 2008, and a number of significant flooding events in-between, Iowans need to ask hard questions about how we have altered our environment.

Today on "Talk of Iowa" we talk about agricultural and urban flooding. We'll take a look at changes we've made to our landscape that has made it more prone to flooding.  We'll also discuss both the damage flooding can cause, and some innovative ways farmers, homeowners and city planners can prevent flooding or at least minimize the damage it can cause.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

Today on River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with reporters across the state to discuss what has been happening locally.  The pipe bomb detonation in Cedar Falls, tension at the Statehouse...and an exploration of a recent Des Moines Register investigation on Iowa’s EMT services.

We also find out how the storms across Iowa will affect flood levels, by meeting with a Quad Cities National Weather Service representative and the Director of the Iowa Flood Center.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

Flash flood warnings have been issued across eastern Iowa, and communities are bracing themselves for heavy rain through the end of the week. 

In Solon, about 15 people scrambled to fill sand bags and load them onto volunteers’ pickup trucks Wednesday afternoon. Some were bound for their neighborhoods; others, to a daycare down the road.

Tom Trump drove a load of sandbags back to his subdivison on the south side of Solon, where a large pool of water was slowly creeping up to his neighbors’ basement windows.

Durrie Bouscaren / IPR

After all the rain this week, we get a drought and flood update to find out how our soil is fairing. Ben Kieffer talks with state climatologist, Harry Hillaker, and National Weather Service hydrologist, Marin Stofler.

Liam Kieffer

In May of 2011, Joplin Missouri was hit by the deadliest single tornado since record keeping began in 1950.  After that disaster, the National Weather Service evaluated their warning system and public response to it.  That led to a more specific warning system that went into effect in Iowa on April 1.  Today we hear from two Iowa National Weather Service meteorologists about the new “impact-based” warning system. We also listen back to our conversation last year with storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski and his firsthand account of the Joplin tornado.

Storm Kings

Mar 21, 2013
Flickr / koschi

Tornados weren’t commonly called tornados until the early 20th century.  Instead these violent storms were referred to as landspouts, whirlwinds or cyclones.  Author Lee Sandlin talks to “Talk of Iowa” about his new book “Storm Kings” which details the history of a group of storm chasers from the 1800s who were instrumental in advancing the scientific understanding of tornados.

Flickr / Grant MacDonald

Though half of Iowa is still under a blanket of snow the rivers are swollen, the days are growing longer and spring is definitely on its way. "Talk of Iowa" sits down with wildlife biologist Jim Pease to talk about the signs and songs of spring.

CR Artist / flickr

Even though Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, don’t bet old man winter is done with us just yet. Today on River to River, we talk about the winter storms we’ve had this year… and if there’s been progress towards drought recovery. Also, journalist Callie Crossley joins our conversation to talk about race relations in the U.S. and where there’s room for improvement.

Flickr / bknittle

When you look at your house covered in a blanket of new fallen snow, if you look closely you can learn some important things. "Talk of Iowa's" home improvement expert Bill McAnally visits to explain what Mother Nature can help you learn about your house.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

A winter snow storm dumped several inches of unexpected snow on the Des Moines area Tuesday morning,  much of it during the morning rush hour.  Forecasters are adjusting their predictions as more snow moves into the region.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Johnson says the storm's trajectory defied predictions, which had put most of the snowfall in southeast Iowa.

Conrad Kuiper / Flickr

When snow covers the ground the world looks as if it is sleeping under a blanket of white, but life does go on. Wildlife biologist Jim Pease joins Charity Nebbe to discuss life under and in the snow and  how that white stuff benefits the burrowers, the hibernators, and other birds and mammals. 

Pease also discusses how snow is an insulator and a boon to wildlife for keeping warm and how even some amphibians benefit from the snow.

Fernando Tomás / Wikimedia Commons

There has been a lot of talk about climate change in the news, with some experts saying super storms like Hurricane Sandy could be more frequent on the East Coast. But what’s the future of climate change in the Midwest? Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa Environmental Engineer Jerry Schnoor and others about what we might expect in the Midwest and how we might adapt to the change. Then, Ben talks with state Senator Rob Hogg, a vocal supporter of climate change policies.

Via Tsuji / Flickr

Every December tens of thousands of seemingly sensible Iowans buy a cut tree and bring it into the house. On Horticulture Day Charity Nebbe talks with forester Mark Vitosh about Christmas trees, how they’re grown, how to pick a good one, how to keep it fresh and how our Christmas tree crop was affected by the drought.

Horticulturist Richard Jauron then joins the conversation to answer listener questions about the plants in their lives.

Courtesy photo

Hundreds of Iowa utility workers are on the East Coast helping restore power to the thousands knocked offline by Super Storm Sandy. Just as progress is being made, another storm threatens to undo much of the work already accomplished. Lead Safety Consultant for Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids, Kent Sodawasser says crew members are struggling with downed trees.  Sodawasser says he was humbled today when a man wearing a red, white and blue tie shook his hand and said, "Thanks for putting my power back on, now I don't have to watch over my generator and I can go and vote."

Jason Mrachina / Flickr

Most people will have the experience of voting in an election but few of us will ever know what it is like to be on the ballot. We talk with two former Iowa congressmen - Democrat Dave Nagle (1987-1993) and Republican Jim Ross Lightfoot (1985-1997) to find out what election day is like from the candidates' perspective.

Clay Masters

Iowa has been in the center of the presidential campaign since mid-2011. In less than a week campaigning will end, and governing will begin. It’s the last politics day before the election. Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa asses where things stand.

Drought And The Economy

Sep 14, 2012
Theresa Wysocki / Flickr

What is the economic impact of this year’s drought? When it comes to food prices, agricultural experts and analysts say it means a spike due to soaring corn prices, but consumers may not see higher prices in the grocery store until 2013. Then we look at other economic factors in the Midwest, including how the 2012 Presidential Election could affect crude oil prices.

My Farm Roots: Barb and Lynn Handy

Aug 29, 2012
Camille Phillips / Harvest Public Media

This is the seventh installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

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