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Iowa river towns fear flooding

Warming temperatures raise flood risk as recent snow melts

March 13, 2013

Iowa river towns fear flooding

A weekend of rain and melting snow is causing some flash flooding in low-lying areas and creeks across eastern Iowa. Residents in communities in flood prone areas are warily watching out for flooding.

A recent storm that moved through produced heavy powder for the area. The Mason City area got 10 to 13 inches of snow, while Fort Dodge had at least 10 inches.

The National Weather Service said high temperatures across Iowa will rise in the next few days. The melting snow will increase the likelihood of flooding for a swath of northern Iowa where the runoff is likely because the ground is frozen.

Residents in Olin said the Wapsipinicorn River rose quickly over the weekend flooding low-lying areas of the community, no major damage was reported.

People who live along Indian Creek in Marion and Cedar Rapids are on alert.

A high in northern Iowa around 40 degrees and below-freezing temperatures at night will mean any melting snow “should be gradual enough that it shouldn’t be serious,” meteorologist Brad Small said.

Several flood warnings are in effect in eastern Iowa for the next few days. Kalona near the English River has already had flooding, with water at 18 feet. That’s above its flood stage of 14 feet.

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