Fall flooding: Road closures, sandbag locations & more

Lancer Avenue headed toward Greene.
Lancer Avenue headed toward Greene.

KIMT News 3 – An entire city is being evacuated, several major roads are closed and communities are rallying together to help with sandbagging throughout North Iowa after overnight flooding.

The latest:

Sandbag distribution will resume at 7 am in the Hy-Vee parking lot in Charles City.

The Salvation Army has established a temporary shelter at the old Middle School at 500 North Grand in Charles City.

Highway 65 north of downtown Mason City near Lime Creek Nature Center is closed.  A detour sends drivers west along Highway 122, north on Eisenhower, and east on B20.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has verbally declared a disaster proclamation for Butler, Chickasaw and Floyd counties.

Highway 65/Main Street in Albert Lea has been closed near Fountain Lake due to flooding.  The closure is at Katherine Street and a detour is marked near the downtown area.  This closure is expected to last several days.

Throughout Cerro Gordo County, the following roads are closed:

  • On B-20 east of Hwy. 65 to Pheasant Avenue
  • On Poplar from City Limits of Mason City north
  • On Zinnia Avenue between 140th & 150th Street
  • On 200th Street between Thrush & Vine On 225th Street between Violet & Wren Avenue
  • On Claybanks Drive between Thrush & Warbler Ave.
  • On Claybanks Drive between Wren & 225th Street
  • On 315th Street between Indigo & Ironwood Avenue
  • On 160th Street between Yarrow & Zinnia Avenue
  • On Raven Avenue between 200th & 210th Street
  • On Jonquil between 290th & 295th Street
  • On Yarrow Avenue between 277th & 290th Street
  • On Quail Avenue between 160th & 180th Street
  • On Falls Park Drive between 295th & B-2()
  • On 320th Street between Lark & Nettle Avenue
  • On 315th Street between Ulmus & Vine Avenue
  • On 170th Street between Warbler & Yarrow Avenue
  • On 275th Street between Balsam & Bluebell Avenue
  • On Warbler between 110th & 120th Street
  • On Killdeer Avenue between 130th & 140th Street
  • On Orange Avenue from 105th Street south to Sheffield
  • On 120th Street between Vine & Yarrow Avenue
  • On Vine Avenue between 120th & 130th Street
  • On 270th Street between Dogwood & Eagle Avenue
  • On 110th Street between Warbler & Yarrow Avenue
  • On 130th Street between Thrush & Vine Avenue
  • On 140th Street between Thrush & Vine Avenue
  • On 140th Street between Hwy. 65 & Olive Avenue
  • On Raven Street between 150th & 160th Street
  • On 130th Street between Hwy. 65 & Olive Avenue
  • On 275th Street between Balsam & Bluebell Avenue On 170th Street between Hwy. 65 & Olive Avenue
  • On Olive Avenue between 170th & 180th Street
  • On Heather Avenue between 190th & 200th Street
  • On 120th Street between Nettle & Hwy. 65
  • On Ulmus Avenue between 240th & 225th Street

Rising floodwaters have closed more roads in southern Minnesota.  In Olmsted County, this includes County Road 138 south of TH 30 and County State Aid Highway 15 at the bridge south of CSAH 25.  In Mower County, Highway 105 south of Austin has been shut down by the Cedar River flooding the roadway about five miles north of the Iowa border.  Two other highways have reopened, however.  Highway 60 West of Kenyon and Highway 65 in Albert Lea is open to single lane traffic.  In Fillmore County, the south branch of the Root River has pushed out of its banks and flooded a portion of Highway 250, north of the bridge construction.  Travelers are asked to use Gaelic Road until the waters recede.

Highway 65 near Rockwell is being closed due to flooding.  It will remain open until an alternate route is decided.

Freeborn County Board of Commissioners has declared an emergency in the county. Steele County has also declared a state of emergency due to flooding and potential damage.

Butler County Emergency Management is evacuating neighborhoods in Greene — travel is not advised and Lancer Avenue is completely flooded.

According to a KIMT News 3 reporter on scene, there is water in the downtown district. Those evacuated should go to the North Butler High School. So far, there have been seven rescues from homes.

Also, those at the Mason City Police Department say Chelsea Creek is flooding — Chelsea and Autumn Park Apartment residents should make plans to move for safety and move vehicles to higher ground. An emergency shelter has been established at the Salvation Army, 724 Village Green Drive, in Mason City, directly east on Menards. It will be open for the duration of the flood event.

Cerro Gordo County emergency management authorities advise that if you don’t need to travel at this time, you should stay home. If you must travel, slow down and don’t drive through standing water.

Plan ahead for transportation on Thursday — Charles City and Floyd County Transit Services will not be operating due to the weather. The Charles City Fire Department will evacuate the building on Thursday because it is at risk for flooding.

The Cedar River is near record crest at 24.2 feet — the record is set at 25.3 feet from the 2008 flooding.

Sandbags are now available at Hy-Vee in Charles City with each household limited to 100. You are asked to bring your own shovels and helpers to fill them. Residents are being asked to limit water use. There are 100-200 homes mostly focused on the north side of Charles City that are having sewer backups.

Sandbags are available in Mason City at the Operations and maintenance Building at 725 North Massachusetts Ave. According to local authorities, the Winnebago River is rising with an expected crest of about 15 feet, which could cause the water to go over the levee system. You are asked to be aware of the potential for sanitary sewer backup in your home.

Thornton Utilities is asking customers to limit water consumption by holding off on laundry and washing dishes, etc. The sewer system is working hard to keep up with the large amount of rain. The cities of Albert Lea and Nora Springs are also asking residents to limit water usage to prevent basement backups. Nora Springs’ wastewater plant is at its max.

In Freeborn County, a boating wake restriction is in effect until further notice. Boat owners are asked to check that their boats are on lifts and secured to the dock with a rope. Because rising water levels, boats are beginning to float off of docks.

In southern Minnesota, Highway 60 west of Kenyon and Highway 65 in Albert Lea are closed.

In Olmsted County, the following roads are closed:

  • County Road 139 from TH 30 for 1 mile north
  • County State Aid Highway 15 — south of County Road 126
  • County Road 105
  • County Road 120 from CSAH 20 to TH 63 in various locations
  • County Road 126 between CSAH 3 and CSAH 15
  • County Road 150, a half mile south of CSAH 25

In Mason City, 12th St. NE between Pennsylvania and Carolina Avenue and Birch Drive from Highway 122 to Illinois Avenue, roads are closed.

Throughout Cerro Gordo County, the following roads are closed:

Those at the American Red Cross said in a statement that they are working with emergency managers in northeast Iowa to determine how disaster volunteers can help residents in flooded and storm-damaged communities.

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