As the rain falls and the water creeps higher, more Iowans are being confronted with the possibility of evacuating their homes. Residents in the Webster County town of Lehigh are carefully watching the Des Moines River’s levels as some low-lying homes are already being threatened.
Lonnie Johnson,the Lehigh maintenance director, says, "The river’s pretty much crested. It went down a little bit overnight, not much, but a little, but now with all this rain that’s coming, it could put us in jeopardy. We have some houses now that are — people have moved out, surrounded with water, and if it comes up any more, there are probably more people that’ll have to be evacuated."
Some residents along the river in nearby Fort Dodge were evacuated earlier this week, as were residents at a care center in Humboldt. Johnson says at least one Lehigh business could also be underwater as a result of the flooding. He says The Riverside Tavern on the east side of the bridge has water up to its front wall. Johnson says the last time the water was this high in Lehigh was during the legendary Floods of 1993. South of Lehigh, the Des Moines River measured 22-feet, well above the flood stage of 14-feet.