UPDATED: Flash Flood Watch Issued for the Area

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the counties of Winnebago, Kossuth, Hancock, Humboldt, Wright, and Pocahontas. Thunderstorms are likely today and into tonight. Heavy rainfall is expected in the listed counties. An isolated strong to severe thunderstorm will be possible. A wide spread swath of 1.5 to 3 inches of rainfall with higher amounts of 4 to 5 inches within the stronger storms. This rain will fall on top of the heavy rain that has already fallen. In some cases, intense rainfall rates where 2-4 inches of rain per hour is possible both today and tonight.

The rain chances will continue into Saturday further complicating flooding possibilities.

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions are right for the development of flash flooding. Flooding is not limited to rivers or streams. Rain water from farm fields running onto secondary roads is also possible along with farm field flooding. If a road is closed or water is running over it, officials ask that you turn around and not attempt to cross the water. Instead, find an alternate route to get to your destination.

Meteorologist Allan Curtis, at the National Weather Service office in metro Des Moines, says with more rain predicted into the weekend, it’s raising concerns about flooding across a wide section of Iowa’s western half.

While northwest Iowa has already seen heavy rain the past few days, Curtis says that same region is in the target zone for more, especially the area from Storm Lake to Fort Dodge.

For the moment, there is little concern for any flooding in eastern Iowa, rivers like the Cedar and Iowa or even the Mississippi.

Much of Iowa’s western half is already under a Flash Flood Watch. Curtis reminds Iowa motorists to “Turn around, don’t drown” as they approach water-covered roadways and to be especially cautious at night.