Emergency managers say flash flooding has become a big concern in parts of central and southeastern Iowa. Scott Bullock of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says of heavy rains are now the biggest threat.
“When you get four inches of rain and the soil’s already saturated that four-inch rain just runs right off. It’s not just in the river but in the downtown communities, in the streets and in the houses with basements,” Bullock says. Some communities in the Ottumwa area received three to four inches of rain over the past couple of days.
Bullock says a fast downpour can threaten neighborhoods that might not be close to a river. He says if you get four inches of rain and you’re on high ground in your backyard, that’s still a lot of rain that’s going to be coming down in the basement. Bullock says officials are now keeping an eye on water levels in Van Buren County downstream of Ottumwa. But he says he doesn’t expect a “crisis” in the area any time soon. Rain is in the forecast off and on for the next couple of days.