A Complex Problem

Vinton is no stranger to flooding. Its community has withstood two historic floods in 2008 and 2016, and several others over its 150 years as a town. Sitting in a basin on the Cedar River, and between two creeks that flow into the Cedar, Vinton is particularly susceptible to the effects of excess water. Vinton’s situation is particularly complicated due to its geographic location and its existing infrastructure.

Waterways and Infrastructure

The map below shows some of the issues facing Vinton when it comes to flooding. Hinkle Creek flows along the western edge of town, and floods when the Cedar River backs up into it. A tributary to Mud Creek flows along the southern edge of town. It gets most of its water from stormwater runoff from surrounding areas, and has a tendency to hold back water from the Cedar River due to infrastructural elements like culverts.

One area of town in particular suffers from sewer backup. This is because the wastewater treatment plant on the south side of town can become inundated and unable to process everything coming in to it. The causes of this issue are complicated, ranging from the capacity of the stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, to the proximity of the area to the water treatment plant.


SCROLL¬†through the Story Map below to learn more about Vinton’s history of flooding, and to read about the resilient experiences of the town’s community members!