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Flood Control

Our Role in Flood Mitigation
The Department of Public Works coordinates flood control for the City of Des Moines by: 
  • Monitoring river levels
  • Monitoring levee conditions
  • Performing levee closures
  • Operating pump stations
  • Keeping the public informed
River Level Monitoring and Reporting 
The City of Des Moines uses stream gages to know when to begin flood fighting.  The stream gages are used to measure and monitor the level of rivers and creeks. 
The City of Des Moines uses river gages at the following locations: 
  • Raccoon River at Fleur Drive
  • Des Moines River at 2nd Avenue
  • Des Moines River at SE 6th Street
  • Walnut Creek at 63rd Street
  • Fourmile Creek at Easton Blvd.

The City of Des Moines partners with Clive and West Des Moines on an Early Flood Warning System. This system monitors rainfall intensity and creek levels along Fourmile and Walnut Creeks.

Flood risk is reduced in the City of Des Moines by a 21.5 mile levee system that is designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) standards.  The USACE annually inspects the levee system to ensure these standards are being met. 

The City is currently in the process of implementing a multi-phase levee improvement project that will include levee and floodwall raises, floodwall replacement, embankment protection, closure structure installation, pump station improvements, and geotechnical improvements that will further reduce flood risk in levee protected areas. Please contact Public Works at (515) 283-4950 if you have levee related questions.

Flood Notification
The Department of Public Works updates Des Moines residents on flood issues. 

These updates include:

  • Information about current and forecasted river levels
  • Status of levees
  • Road closures
  • Advisories

For current information please view our Road & Trail Closure Map

Des Moines River Gauges Website
This website updates with the latest available graphs from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/National Weather Service (NWS) websites every 15 minutes. See individual graphs for applicable gage forecast/observation times. For additional and the most up-to-date information, please visit or .