Overnight thunderstorms pushed the 24-hour rainfall total past four inches in Mahaska County this morning. Heavy rains caused numerous flash flooding problems around Mahaska County and Oskaloosa early this morning. Many roads were covered with water and travelers were urged to use “extreme caution” and not drive on water-covered roads or streets.
Southwest Mahaska County was inaccessible from the north and many area roads were closed due to the flooding. In east Oskaloosa four adults, four children and two family pets were trapped in homes due to rising water. Volunteers with boats gathered at a local restaurant and helped rescue the trapped people and pets. The flooded-out folks were taken to an emergency shelter. No one was injured in the rescue operation. There is more rain in the forecast for tonight, which means there could be more flooding in the Oskaloosa area again this evening.
Several homes in Grimes were flooded as well. The Des Moines suburb recorded just over 3.5 inches of rain. East of Des Moines, in Pleasant Hill, residents of a mobile home park were evacuated overnight. National Weather Service Meteorologist Aubry Wilkins says little relief’s on the horizon.
“Unfortunately, there’s more rain in the forecast,” Wilkins said. The heaviest precipitation tonight is expected over northern Iowa with a possible break from the rain arriving Thursday. Hot and muggy conditions will cover much of the state with highs in the 90s through Friday.
“We could see heat index readings between 110 and 115 out west,” Wilkins said. An Excessive Heat Warning is posted for southwest Iowa through Thursday while a Heat Advisory is in effect for portions of central and southern Iowa this afternoon through Thursday.
Many residents of the central Iowa town of Newton found water in their basements again after the overnight rain. Newton Public Works director, Keith Laube, says it was another long period of rain. Laube says it’s pretty similar to the July 7th storm, as they got about four inches of rain overnight and the ground was saturated and couldn’t absorb the water. He says there were flooded streets and water in basements, sewer backups in what he calls a 30-year storm event.
Laube says he’s just as frustrated as everyone else with the continued rainfall and problems. He says everyone is in the same boat and everyone is getting tired of having to mop up water all the time. Laube says the city has face problems, such as under the first avenue railroad bridge where water has continued to seep out all summer and made it difficult to mow there because it is so wet. Laube says the forecast for the rest of the week doesn’t look good for things to dry out.
Randy Van, KCOB, Newton and Bob Allen, KBOE, Oskaloosa contributed to this story.