A massive volunteer effort is underway to protect the northeast Iowa town of Independence from possible record flooding. Because of heavy rain overnight, forecasters are predicting a rapid rise of the Wapsipinicon River today with all-time record flooding possible at Independence.
A flood warning is in effect for the Wapsi through Thursday evening. Rainfall totals ranging between four- and six-inches were reported north of the city overnight and forecasters are predicting a crest of between 23- and 25-feet early this afternoon. At 22-feet, downtown businesses in Independence become flooded, as do several homes in about a six block area on both sides of the river.
At the level, water also covers two of the four main roads into the city, including State Highway 150. As of 4:30 this morning, the river level was nearly a foot-below its 12-foot flood stage. Forecasters say the river crest at Independence could be higher than projected.
The all-time record crest for the Wapsi at Independence is 22.4-feet in May of 1999.
By Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein/Waterloo