Flooding concerns


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CHARLES CITY, IA- So far our area has gotten a good soaking, but with all this rain, the talk of flooding is on the minds of a few people.

The river in Charles City is 22 feet lower than where it was during the devastating floods of 2008, but every time significant rain is in the forecast, people of the town get a little nervous.

When it rains..it pours, and that is definitely the case for this area.

While it’s a welcome site for some, for others it brings back some ugly memories.

” I have to admit, ever since 2008 when I see heavy rain, I get a little nervous.  I run right away and check the river gauge ” said Charles City, City Administrator Tom Brownlow.

While current readings show there is nothing to worry about, emergency coordinators *are keeping a watchful eye.

“The fields are full of water, the ditches are running with water and it wouldn’t take much to over load some streams,” said Butler and Floyd County Emergency Management Coordinator Mitch Nordmeyer.

Especially since they know first hand how fast a disaster can pop up.

“Should it all come over a couple day period, nobody wants to hear this or admit it, but we will probably see things like 2008,” said Nordmeyer.

Of course, we need several more inches to get to that point, but a lot has changed since those destructive waters poured over the banks.

“I would say a lot of the communities involved in the 08′ floods took a lot of lessons learned and have really gone to extensive lengths to better prepare themselves,” said Nordmeyer.

Charles City leaders have implemented a “code RED” system to help with communication and now can closely monitor river levels.

“We went through what our response was, we found out what some of those strong points were and weak points,” said Brownlow.

As for this rain, it might be just what the doctor ordered in an area that’s spent months in a drought.

“It’s definitely going to help with the drought but we are 12-18 inches short of normal rainfall so we just don’t want that 12-18 inches to come all at once,” said Nordmeyer.

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