Friday: Flooding and Flash Flooding

Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa ends today, but the important lessons continue. Today’s topics are Flooding and Flash Flooding.

There is a difference between “flooding” and “flash flooding”.  Both involve a lot of water, of course, where it shouldn’t be running.

Flooding usually occurs over a long stretch of time and can affect a very large area. The river floods of 1993 and 2008 are examples of “flooding”.

Flash floods are just as they sound… they happen in a flash! They typically occur over a relatively small area and can sometimes occur in a matter of minutes, and streams will usually be back within their banks within an hour or so.

Both are dangerous and should never be taken lightly.

If you were living in Iowa in 1993 or 2008, you remember the major flooding that occurred.

Downtown Cedar Rapids, 2008 photo taken by Iowa Civil Patrol

 

 

Coralville flooding in 2008- photo by U.S. Geological Survey

 

 

Union Pacific Railroad Bridge- photo Waterloo Courier via National Weather Service Des Moines

 

 

River flooding generally takes a lot of time to get to those levels. Saturated soil and heavy rainfall over many days will lead to flooding.

Flash flooding is much faster. In our area it is usually caused by a lot of rainfall in a short period of time. This causes rapid rises on creeks and streams which will then rush into rivers and work downstream in a sort of large wave of water.

 

 

It may only take 6 inches of fast-moving water to knock you off of your feet.

 

 

Never walk through flooded streets- manhole covers may no longer be there and you will drop under the water quickly.

Never drive through flooded roadways. As mentioned in the graphic above, it only takes a little bit of water to wash your car away. And, your road may no longer be there.

Highway 6 near the Cedar River at Atalissa, 2008- photo by Iowa Department of Transportation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never drive around barriers. They are there for a reason. Be very careful driving at night.

 

 

To learn more about flood safety in Iowa, click here.  The National Weather Service also provides a lot of information here.

 

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Posted under Education, Flooding, Rivers, Severe Weather

This post was written by Schnack on March 30, 2018

Flood Warning for Black Hawk Creek at Hudson

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Posted under Flooding, Rivers

This post was written by Schnack on February 28, 2018

Rivers Visible

There is snow all over Iowa and with a clear sky this afternoon we have a great view of the rivers across the state.  Darker areas on the map are the rivers.

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Posted under Education, Rivers, Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack on February 13, 2018

Ice on the Turkey River

Here are a few photos of the Turkey River at Millville (south of Guttenberg) at the Highway 52 bridge.  Photos taken by Kelly Fairbanks.

The Turkey River has been going down through Tuesday. Here is a look at the river stage/forecast along the Turkey River at Garber.

 

 

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Posted under Ice, Rivers

This post was written by Schnack on January 23, 2018

Ice on the water

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Pony Creek Sunday morning. Located north of Elkader. Taken by: Joyce Patrick‎

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Ice on the Cedar River south of La Porte City. Taken by : Heather Schoenberger

 

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Posted under Ice, Rivers

This post was written by Schnack on January 23, 2017

Top 5 Record Crest in Elkader

The Turkey river in Elkader crested a bit lower than forecast, but still caused a lot of damage. The river crest of 22. 57 feet puts this as the 4th highest on record. The river level is falling and is forecast to drop to flood stage Saturday night.
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Posted under Flooding, Rivers

This post was written by Schnack on August 26, 2016

Potential Historic Flood Friday

Heavy rain earlier this week has now made its way into the Turkey River and it is on the rise. The river is rising about one foot per hour. The forecast crest is near 25.5 to 27.0 ft Friday afternoon. The record crest is 27.77 feet on June 10, 2008.
Here is a look the river earlier this afternoon.
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Elkader has been working quickly for the last 48 hours to prepare for the water to move downstream.
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Once the river reaches the crest Friday morning it will fall just as fast dropping below flood stage by Saturday night.
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Posted under Flooding, Rivers

This post was written by Schnack on August 25, 2016

River Flooding and Levels

Very heavy rain in our northern counties early Wednesday has caused river flooding.  Winneshiek, Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, and Howard counties have multiple river locations that are at least nearing minor flood stage. There are some locations that have moderate or major flooding either currently or will in the next 48 hours.

HOWARD COUNTY:

UIR_limesprings

The Upper Iowa River near Lime Springs has major flooding with a current level of 14.62 feet. Only observed stages are available at this location.

TR_Cresco

The Turkey River near Cresco is currently in minor flood stage at 9.03 feet. It peaked earlier Thursday at 15.11 feet (moderate flood stage). Only observed stages are available at this location.

 

CHICKASAW COUNTY:

LCR_Ionia

The Little Cedar River near Ionia is near flood stage at 9.06 ft. Only observed stages are available at this location.

LCR_nashua

The Little Cedar River at Nashua is in minor flood stage at 9.26. Only observed stages are available at this location.

 

WINNESHIEK COUNTY:

UIR_kendallville

The Upper Iowa River at Kendallville is near flood stage at 12.1 feet. Only observed stages are available at this location.

UIR_bluffton

The Upper Iowa River at Bluffton is currently near minor flood stage at 13.65 feet. It is expected to fall below the action stage Thursday night.

UIR_decorah

The Upper Iowa River near Decorah 3 NW is in minor flood stage at 13.61 feet. Only observed stages are available at this location.

UIR_decorah2

The Upper Iowa River at Decorah is currently in moderate flood stage at 13.11 feet. It is expected to fall below flood stage Thursday morning.

TR_Spillville

The Turkey River at Spillville is currently in major flood stage at 19.23 feet. It peaked at 20.25 feet. Only observed stages are available at this location.

 

FAYETTE COUNTY:

TR_ ElDorado

The Turkey River near El Dorado is currently in major flood stage at 17.58 feet. Only observed stages are available at this location.

TR_ Clermont

The Turkey River at Clermont is right below flood stage at 15.99 feet. This is the highest level recorded over the past 24 hours. Only observed stages are available at this location.

 

ALLAMAKEE COUNTY:

UIR_dorchester

The Upper Iowa River at Dorchester is currently in major flood stage at 22.05 feet. It is expected to fall below flood stage Friday night.

MR_Lansing

The Mississippi River at Lansing is currently in the action stage at 12.25 feet. It is expected to rise until Friday morning but will stay below flood stage.

MR_Lynxville

The Mississippi River at Lynxville is currently in the action stage at 619.95 feet. It is expected to rise until Friday but will stay below flood stage.

 

CLAYTON COUNTY:

TR_elgin

The Turkey River near Elgin is currently in minor flood stage at 12.97 feet. Only observed stages are available at this location.

MR_mcgregor

The Mississippi River at Lynxville is currently at 12.62 feet. It is expected to rise until Saturday but will stay below flood stage.

TR_elkader

The Turkey River at Elkader is currently near minor flood stage at 11.84 feet. It is expected to rise to 25 feet Thursday afternoon (major flood stage) before falling below flood stage on Friday.

TR_ garber

The Turkey River at Garber is currently not in flood stage at 9.7 feet. It is expected to rise to 26 feet (major flood stage) Thursday afternoon before falling below flood stage again on Friday night.

MR_Guttenberg

The Mississippi River at Guttenberg is currently at 11.02 feet. It is expected to rise until Friday but will stay below flood stage.

 

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Posted under Flooding, Rivers

This post was written by Rachael Peart on August 24, 2016

Ice Jam at Fort Dodge

There is some thick ice that has caused an ice jam on the Des Moines River near Fort Dodge. Here are a few photos from the National Weather Service in Des Moines from this afternoon. Click here to take a look at the latest river stage.

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Posted under Flooding, Rivers

This post was written by Schnack on February 22, 2016

Area River Levels (Current and Forecast)

Click on the rivers below for the current level and forecast crest.

Beaver Creek

Cedar River

English River

Iowa River

Maquoketa River

Mississippi River

Shell Rock River

Turkey River

Upper Iowa River

Wapsipinicon River

West Fork Cedar River

 

NWS Des Moines Rivers…Click here.

NWS Davenport Rivers…Click here.

NWS La Crosse Rivers…Click here.

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Posted under Flooding, Rivers, Weather Links

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on December 16, 2015