Area farmers and city officials are a little more at ease as the Winnebago River recedes after it went over its banks affecting the parks and farmland adjacent to the river. The same can be said for other drainage locations throughout the area including the West Main Drainage Ditch 1 and 2 near Britt. The water crested on Sunday at 4pm at 79.28 inches. On Tuesday, the water level was 77.69 inches and falling. Willow Creek north of Mason City crested on Sunday at 89.34 inches before dropping to 88.46 inches on Tuesday. The Iowa River near Rowan will continue to rise until about 9pm Wednesday evening. The river was at 11.07 feet Tuesday evening at 5pm. Flood stage is at 12.5 feet. It is expected to crest just below that around midnight on Thursday at 11.2 feet.
Clear Lake has begun to drop slightly. It was at 5.37 feet on Monday afternoon. That has gone down slightly to 5.36 feet as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Winnebago River near Mason City crested on Sunday evening at 7.93 feet, but has now receded to 6.8 feet. In Forest City, the river went out of its banks near Pammel Park, shutting the park down as athletic fields, bike trails, and Winnebago RV parking went underwater. The park partially reopened on Tuesday as the waters had receded enough to allow partial traffic. The gravel road adjacent to the river took a toll from the overflowing water creating ruts and potholes. The Frisbee golf link remains underwater in some locations.
The forecast calls for a dry period with a 30% chance of rain toward the end of the week. The snow melt continues in some locations, but not to the extent of the last three days where over a foot of snow melted quickly in the rapidly warming conditions. Temperatures may reach the 70’s by Monday of next week giving farmers the opportunity to start the planting cycle in dried out fields which are currently underwater in some locations. According to state officials, no corn planting has begun anywhere in the state. Normally the corn planting would be 19% complete by now.