July 23, 2014

Rock Valley nearly surrounded by flooding

Residents of far northwest Iowa are dealing with record flooding after receiving up to 10 inches of rain since Saturday. In Rock Valley, city administrator Tom Van Maanen says many homes, schools, and businesses are damaged. “We’re prepared for floods, but at this level, it’s just something we’ve never seen before,” Van Maanen said.

The Rock River in Rock Valley is expected to crest at 22 feet. The previous record in 1993 was 20 feet. “We’re seeing a lot of houses on our north and west part of town having basements filled with water,” Van Maanen said.

The town is nearly surrounded by water. The only way in or out of Rock Valley is to the south. City officials have requested help with sandbagging efforts. There’s also record flooding in the Lyon County town of Rock Rapids, where about 700 people have been evacuated from their home. The Rock Rapids Water Supply treatment plant was inundated with water today and a boil order was issued.

The Rock River in Rock Rapids is expected to crest at 27.4 feet, more than 5 feet higher than the previous record. A travel ban is in place for Lyon County because so many roads and bridges have been washed out by the flooding.