Floodwaters are threatening a number of Iowa communities as volunteers and city crews are busy sandbagging. The Jones County town of Anamosa is preparing for record flooding as the Wapsipinicon River could rise to more than 23-feet by Tuesday morning. That would put the crest just above the record set in May 2004. John Dirks heads up Anamosa’s sandbagging effort and looks to other towns upriver.
Dirks says, "When they get at a certain point up there, we know that our water is going to be approximately this high here." By relaying that information to crews, Dirks lets volunteers know how tall their wall of sandbags should be. Larry Driscoll, the town’s public works director, says they’re well-prepared with plenty of sandbags.
"We’ve used up towards 17,000 (sandbags) depending on how high the river gets," Driscoll says. The wall along one dike will be three feet high, according to Dirks’ latest flood forecast from Central City. Volunteers say they hope to finish it in time.
Dirks isn’t a professional but he’s grown up along the Wapsi River. Dirks says, "You’re already prepared so that you don’t have water going where you don’t want it to go." Some roads in the area are already washed out and the rising water could soon threaten nearby homes.