Public Safety

Flash flooding affects Crisis Center of Johnson County after Wednesday storms

Food bank to operate normally, Crisis Line call center moved to neighboring building

A parking lot near the Crisis Center of Johnson County experiences flash flooding after a severe storm swept through Eastern Iowa on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. The facility’s south-facing offices saw damage. (Photo submitted by Crisis Center of Johnson County)
A parking lot near the Crisis Center of Johnson County experiences flash flooding after a severe storm swept through Eastern Iowa on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018. The facility’s south-facing offices saw damage. (Photo submitted by Crisis Center of Johnson County)
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IOWA CITY — The severe storms that swept through the Iowa City area caused flooding in several areas, including at the offices in the Crisis Center of Johnson County.

The offices took on several inches of water, the center reported Wednesday, but its food pantry services remain unaffected.

The pantry opened at noon Wednesday, as scheduled, and served a usual number of clients on Tuesday despite the storm, according to a news release from the Crisis Center. The facility’s Crisis Line call center, however, had to move to a boardroom in the neighboring social services building.

The facility’s south-facing offices saw some technology equipment destroyed in the flooding and the center is currently assessing the full extent of the damage. The Crisis Center’s recovery is expected to take between three and five days, according to the release.

The Crisis Center’s insurance company, however, won’t cover the costs of the flash flooding, including replacing carpet and a few computers, said Carly Matthew, communications coordinator. To aid in the flood recovery, donors can note “flood” in the comments section of the donation form online at jccrisiscenter.org/financial-contributions or write “flood” in the memo section of a check.

The storm, containing heavy rain, frequent lightning and high winds, triggered a tornado warning in Johnson County, according to the National Weather Service. The weather service received reports of downed power lines and trees throughout Iowa City.

Brock Holub, superintendent of Streets and Traffic Engineering, said there was some flash flooding on the city’s streets but not overwhelming. He added that downed trees were more of a problem.

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“I’ve been out driving around. It seemed just a bit everywhere, on all sides of the town,” Holub said.

How to clean up after the storm

For any Iowa City homeowner or landlord left with fallen trees or other debris, the city recommends calling a private tree company for assistance. Iowa City’s forestry staff will not help on private property, according to a news release from the city on Wednesday.

Residents can bring storm debris to the yard waste facility from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Iowa City Landfill, 3900 Hebl Ave.

Woody debris or brush can also be placed at the curb during normal collection days if they meet the following criteria:

•Be four inches in diameter or less

•Be securely tied in bundles that are no bigger around than 18 inches, and no more than 48 inches long

•Weigh less than 50 pounds

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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