Portions of northern Iowa were socked with heavy rain this morning – flooding roads and basements. Fort Dodge was one of the hardest hit areas with five inches of rain. Flooding has closed Highway 169 in the Webster County town.
Rachel Hatteberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says many communities collected four to five inches of rain in just a few hours. Webster City recorded 5.2 inches of rain, Pomeroy 4.45 inches and Manson 4.2 inches.
In northwest Iowa, the rain was accompanied by high winds. Fire and ambulance crews responded to the Sioux County town of Maurice around 12:30 a.m. on the report of damage to homes, buildings and trees. Sheriff Dan Altena says only one person was injured. “An older gentlemen was hit by glass when all of his windows were blown out as he was in bed,” Altena said. “Most people, from what we understand, really had no clue (the storm) was happening. A lot of people were already in bed and then all of the sudden it hit.”
Around 300 people live in Maurice, located in southern Sioux County. “There’s a lot of trees and overhead wires down, there’s houses with some significant damage,” Altena said. “And then the rain that came in once the roofs were taken off was problematic as well.” The National Weather Service has sent an assessment team to the town to determine exactly what caused the damage. The Red Cross is providing shelter for families knocked out of their homes.
More showers and storms are possible across Iowa tonight and tomorrow night. In addition, Hatteberg says it’ll be extremely hot this afternoon. A heat advisory has been issued for much of southern Iowa from noon to 8 p.m. “Heat indexes are forecast well over 100 degrees. Dew points will reach maybe 77 degrees, so that’s very sticky conditions,” Hatteberg said.
Heavy rains earlier this week has caused flooding around Lake Rathbun in southeast Iowa. Appanoose County Sheriff Gary Anderson says all boat ramps on the lake are closed. Volunteers have been sandbagging in the area.
by Pat Curtis (Radio Iowa), Pat Powers (KQWC, Webster City) and Doug Broek (KSOU, Sioux Center)