116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
ELKADER — Heavy rains late last week have swollen rivers and tributaries in northeastern Iowa and residents there were preparing Monday for flooding.
In Elkader, officials closed two low-lying roads and crews had begun erecting large flood barriers. That came as the National Weather Service reported the Turkey River rose more than 6.5 feet to 22.3 feet overnight. Flood stage at Elkader is 12 feet and forecasters don’t expect to recede below that level until Tuesday afternoon.
Residents in and around Independence were filling sandbags Monday morning in an effort to stave off floodwaters.
The Wapsipinicon River at Independence as threatening to significantly overrun its banks, with the weather service expecting it to reach major flood stage of 15 feet Monday night and then crest Tuesday morning at nearly 17 feet — a level that would affect businesses and homes.
The weather service said this 16.7 foot predicted flood level is comparable with a crest that struck on Sept. 5, 2018, but the river also exceeded the 15-foot major flood level in 2017.
Motorists who encounter flooded roads should turn around and not attempt to drive past barricades or through flooded areas. According ti the weather service, most flood deaths occur in vehicles.
Forecasters expect mostly clear skies over the area for at least the next four days, giving the rivers' waters a chance to recede.