Standard & Poor's Corp. last week affirmed the AA-plus rating on $35 million of outstanding debt belonging to the Des Moines Waterworks System in the aftermath of flooding over the summer.

In a credit comment in last week's CreditWeek Municipal, Standard & Poor's attributed the affirmed rating to the system's limited exposure to flood damage, strong financial performance and liquidity, and flexible capital improvement plan.

Moody's investors Service rates the system's debt Aa.

Tamera Mason, finance director for the Waterworks System, said that the system incurred nearly $11.8 million of expenses related to the flooding that shut down the system for three weeks. About $10.2 million of those costs will be covered by insurance and relief funding from either he state or the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Mason said.

Standard & Poor's pointed out hat the system spent $900,000 to raise the levees around the water treatment plant to prevent similar flooding problems in the future.

The remaining costs and $1.2 million in lost operating revenues will be covered by deferring $2.9 million in capital improvements, Standard & Poor's said.

Flooding of the Mississippi River and its tributaries during the summer caused about $12 billion of damage in nine Midwest states. The Des Moines River, which flows through the city of Des Moines, is a tributary of the Mississippi River.

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