City officials hope in another four months flood cleanup and repairs will be finished and Squaw Creek will be stronger to deal any future flooding.
Two years ago in August water overflowed the banks of both the Squaw Creek and Skunk River flooding much of Ames.
It's almost hard to imagine that could happen again when the Squaw Creek currently is just a muddy riverbed with puddles of water.
"A lot of things that kind of happened so fast that you had to deal with, and now we're just kind of – bigger things that we wanted to take our time to get done," said Public Works Operations Manager Corey Mellies. "But it'll be nice to have these all complete."
Two final projects are just getting started. A main water line runs along the creek on North Riverside Drive, but so much of the bank has eroded, the main is vulnerable.
"Usually over water mains we like 5 foot of cover, if not more. With the bank erosion we maybe have 2–3 foot in places," Mellies explained. "If that ever broke, being such a large water main, that could really impact our system."
Crews will be clearing out debris, removing damaged trees and preparing the bank for sheet piling which will be laid in the coming months to strengthen the bank.
On the other side of the creek, off University and Lincoln Way, crews are shoring up another bank and replacing a flood–damaged portion of the trail.
A temporary trail still allows people to use it, but this will make the area safer and also keep the erosion from worsening.
"We're trying to mitigate future problems with the water
main or trail so that they don't happen again," Mellies said.
The two projects cost about $500,000, which is a combination of city, state, and FEMA money.
That part of the trail will be closed while it's being replaced. Drivers should also be prepared for construction vehicles on University near Lincoln Way and Sixth Street.