City of Vinton waiting to remove HESCO barriers

Cedar River was predicted to crest at 20.8 feet Saturday, but only rose to 18.74 feet before falling

Volunteers make sandbags outside of the Vinton Fire Department in Vinton on May 30, 2013. (Kaitlyn Bernauer/Gazette-KCRG
Volunteers make sandbags outside of the Vinton Fire Department in Vinton on May 30, 2013. (Kaitlyn Bernauer/Gazette-KCRG9)

VINTON - HESCO barriers and sandbags lined buildings and homes along the Cedar River waiting for a flood that never came on Saturday in Vinton.

The Cedar River was predicted to crest at 20.8 feet sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, instead the river only rose to 18.74 feet before 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and began to fall.

Businesses like John's Tire Service in Vinton promptly began removing sand bags from outside of their building, while others say they will leave them up for a while.

"It will probably be a week or so before I even think about moving them," said Bob DuCharme of Vinton. "You never know what's going to happen with that river, a couple good rain storms and it's back up here again."

DuCharme spent 13 hours putting up sand bags to protect his home and business from water that did not reach his yard.

The City of Vinton is also waiting to remove the HESCO barriers that were installed around the Vinton Fire Station and Municipal Electric Utility buildings.

"They are going to be kept up for a while because June can tend to be rainy month," Andrew Lent, Vinton City Coordinator said. "This is our first time using the HESCOs, so we have to practice taking them down, seeing how easy they are to take down, and clean up the sand and everything."

Lent said the city is much more proactive and prepared when dealing with the threat of flooding after learning from 2008. Residents like DuCharme took extra steps to be ready for flooding.

"I was prepared for 21 foot. Then I had enough extra sand bags were I could have gotten to 23 foot," DuCharme said.

All of the preparation served as practice for Vinton said Lent since the floodwater left very minimal impact on the city. Benton county Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Hansen said the flooding was basically a high water event.

"Really there wan't anything major that came out of it other an a whole lot of preparation in the city of Vinton because the forecast was higher than what we obtained." Hansen said.One of the only marks left on the City of Vinton from the flood will be the HESCO barriers still standing until the Cedar River returns to its banks.

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