Clean up is underway in Waterloo and other nearby communities after Wednesday’s thunderstorms deluged the Cedar Valley with heavy rain that flooded basements and city streets, stranding several residents. Rainfall totals in Waterloo alone ranged from about an inch at the airport to nearly six inches on the southeast side of the city.

Residents in the Cedar Terrace neighborhood of Waterloo, near the casino, spent the night sandbagging their homes and pumping water from their basements. Sump pumps were also left running overnight in other parts of Waterloo, and some nearby neighborhoods in Evansdale, Elk Run Heights, Raymond, Dewer and Washburn.

Black Hawk County supervisors are considering a disaster declaration due to Wednesday’s flooding — a move they’ll discuss at a meeting this afternoon. In Dewar, an unincorporated town northeast of Waterloo, a foot of water overran the banks of a nearby creek and gushed into the town’s post office.

Postal officials say no mail was destroyed, but the building remains closed today for clean-up and a damage assessment. Dewar’s 75 post office box holders are being told to pick up their mail in Gilbertville, which is eight miles away. In Oelwein, fast-moving water rushed through Bill Shaner’s northeast side neighborhood, leaving his home unlivable.

The water washed away most of the home’s foundation. The Red Cross provided lodging for Shaner and another family overnight.

By Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein