Persistent rain creates flood concerns in Iowa
DES MOINES (AP) — Much of Iowa is likely to deal with flooding this week as rain falls on already saturated ground.
Some roads were already covered Monday in parts of central and northwest Iowa, where more than 6 inches of rain fell since Friday. And flood warnings and watches have been issued for nearly three-quarters of the state; southwest Iowa is the only area not covered by those.
The National Weather Service said 3 to 6 inches of rain is in the forecast this week.
"Flooding is the primary threat with this weather pattern," forecaster Kurt Kotenberg said, noting much of the ground simply can't absorb much more water.
In northwest Iowa, the Floyd River crested at a record of 18.6 feet near Alton, causing basements and low-lying farm fields to flood Monday in Orange City and Sioux Center.
The Little Sioux River was also expected to set a record Monday afternoon at 28.5 feet, and some flooding was reported nearby in Cherokee.
The weather service predicted the Iowa River will crest at a record 22 feet at Marshalltown on Monday afternoon, which means minor flooding is likely.
The town of New Hartford, about 11 miles west of Cedar Falls, is also at risk because water from Beaver Creek is flowing over a rural road that serves as a levee north of town.
Kotenberg said it will be important for Iowans to pay attention to forecasts and warnings this week.
"Make sure you have a plan in place if there is severe weather," he said.
Elsewhere, some utilities and homeowners were cleaning up in the wake of early Monday's strong winds that caused some damage. Roughly 7,000 MidAmerican Energy customers had lost power in the storm early Monday, but by early afternoon the all but 1,251 customers were back online. There were also reports of falling tree limbs and uprooted trees in western Iowa.
Heavy rain was also common in with that storm. Mason City set a new record for daily rainfall with 1.45 inches in a 24-hour period. The old record set in 1932 was 1.43 inches.