The Flooding Begins as the Rain Continues

The north Iowa area has seen exceptionally high amounts of rain in the last four days and the situation will only get worse as a stationary front continues to pump more moisture into the air aloft and the rain continues to fall as a result. Areas such as Clarion and Belmond are suffering from rivers and streams coming out of their banks, while the Winnebago and Iowa are threatening Forest City, Garner, and all points in between.

The bridge over the Winnebago in Forest City now sees the river around it.
The bridge over the Winnebago in Forest City now sees the river around it.

Prior to this weather system parking itself over the area, the area had already gone over the normal rainfall for the month by 5.14 inches. While rainfall amounts from this system have varied between 6 inches to as much as 14 inches near Greene, the average for the month will be well above the normal amount received in September.

The Garner Welcome Sign is now an island.
The Garner Welcome Sign is now an island.

As of today (Friday), 10.71 inches of rain have fallen in the Forest City area. The normal rainfall for the month is 2.54 inches, which means that we are 8.23 inches above normal for the month in Forest City. By comparison, Mason City has had 8.46 inches of rain when 2.39 inches of rain is the norm. This leaves Mason City 6.07 inches over the normal rainfall amount.

Fields between Britt and Garner are flooded in some locations
Fields between Britt and Garner are flooded in some locations.

Britt has seen its share now standing nearly 6 inches over normal for the month, while Garner and Ventura are slightly over that figure. In Clarion 7.68 inches have fallen where 2.51 inches of rain is the normal. Overall, Clarion is now 5.17 inches above normal.

The Winnebago River is out of its banks in some locations due to the heavy rains.
The Winnebago River is out of its banks in some locations due to the heavy rains.

The National Weather Service is forecasting more heavy rain to fall in the area on Saturday and Sunday. The area will get a short break this afternoon and evening, but that won’t stop the runoff from area fields into already swollen creeks and rivers. Some farmers are reporting that drainage ditches are at capacity and unable to handle the additional water in the field.

Drainage ditches in Winnebago County are overflowing.
Drainage ditches in Winnebago County are overflowing.

Roads are washed out in some locations in Cerro Gordo County where 14 roads were closed at one point while road crews raced to try and get them serviceable. 360th Street in Winnebago County along with 40th Avenue and 50th Avenue between 350th and 360th are also closed due to the rains, but Scott Meinders, Winnebago County Engineer, says that he expects those locations to be back open shortly because the water appears to be flowing out and away from the roads.

The Winnebago River floods the area bike trail.
The Winnebago River floods the area bike trail in Pammel Park.

In Belmond, Highway 69 is closed near the Iowa River due to the river coming out of its banks and onto the highway. Belmond-Klemme Community Schools have decided to close early due to the flooding situation. The football game scheduled for tonight is still on, however. That is not the case for North Iowa Community Schools. The North Iowa versus Denver game has been postponed, but the Homecoming festivities will go on as scheduled.

Stay tuned to KIOW or keep it here on kiow.com for more closures, cancellations, and weather related developments.

 

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