Iowa’s flooding rivers receding, the worst is over

DES MOINES – No homes or businesses are threatened by floodwaters from Iowa’s swollen rivers and most of the waterways swamping farmland, parks and roads should recede by the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

Rivers are overflowing because of an unusually wet weather pattern that brought three times the normal amount of rain to the state in the past week.

“The good news is that most of the rivers in the state have already crested and are heading downward now,” Meteorologist Jim Lee with the weather service’s Des Moines office said Tuesday. “The worst of the flooding from this round is already past us.”

The Cedar River in eastern Iowa is flooding in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, and Waterloo but will fall below flood stage by the end of the week. The Iowa River in eastern Iowa is reaching flood levels at Columbus Junction, Wapello, and Marengo and the Little Sioux River is flooding at Spencer but also will fall to below flood stage by the weekend.

The Mississippi River will flood in Burlington, Muscatine, and Keokuk but no serious damage is expected. At Burlington the river is expected to reach 18.5 feet, about 2 feet above flood stage on Sunday then begin to recede.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said in a report released Monday that the statewide average rainfall was nearly 3.7 inches last week, three times the normal 1.2 inches.

It was the greatest weekly average for the same week in six years.

Rain is forecast in the next few days but it shouldn’t pose new flood concerns.

“It doesn’t look like widespread heavy rain is very likely, at least through Friday,” Lee said. “We could see localized heavy rain but in terms of statewide river flooding, nothing that would really cause too many problems.”

The weekend and next week brings added chances of widespread heavy rain, he said.