Large amounts of rain fell across various cities in northeast Iowa this morning, causing headache for residents and motorists. About two inches of rain fell in Oelwein in about an hour and Highway 150 on the south side had several inches of water on the road, which caused some vehicles to stall.
The highway was closed down until the rain subsided. Dry Run Creek which runs near the downtown area was rising and nearly out of its banks. Emergency workers were kept busy rescuing motorists who drove into the water-covered roads and stalled their cars.
A flash flood warning is still in effect for Northern Buchanan County, including Hazelton and Aurora until 1:45 P.M. Nearly four inches of rain fell in some spots of the county in less than two hours. Highway 150 south of Hazelton had been closed, but has since reopened. The highway was also closed at the Fayette-Buchanan County line.
In Black Hawk County, Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark has issued an alert to motorists urging them not to drive on the city streets until mid-day, when the threat for flash flooding is expected to end. Slow-moving thunderstorms dumped as much as six inches of rain in the Waterloo area today, flooding many city streets and stalling numerous cars during the morning commute.
Emergency crews were dispatched across the city to rescue stranded motorists, some of whom were stuck in foot-and-a-half deep water. No injuries were reported. Five- and six-inch rainfall totals were reported in Evansdale, just east of Waterloo. Inmates from the Black Hawk County jail spent the morning filling sandbags for county residents who need them.
The morning thunderstorms left about 450 Mid-American Energy customers without electricity in southern Black Hawk County. Crews restored most of the power in about an hour.
By Roger King, Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein