Michael Gillispie

Flood watches and warnings are now posted for many rivers in northwest Iowa.

Mike Gillispie, meteorologist and hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, says the Rock River between Rock Rapids and Rock Valley has already exceeded its banks. “Rock Rapids already crested overnight or yesterday evening and has started to fall,” Gillispie says. “Rock Valley is going to be cresting late this morning or early this afternoon, just a little higher than it is right now, both of those in the moderate levels.” Gillispie says the Floyd River is expected to rise, but shouldn’t cause any serious localized flooding.

He says the Big Sioux River between Hawarden and Akron is now at major flood stage. “Hawarden is up around 28 feet right now and we’re looking at another two feet of rise there,” Gillispie says. “Akron is just hitting major flood level now at 20 feet and again, we’re looking at another two feet of rise there over the next couple of days.” When will the rain end? Gillispie says there may be a break on the horizon that’ll bring us sunny, warmer days.

“We might see a little bit drier weather coming in the next week to two weeks, probably closer to the middle part of June,” Gillispie says. “We might be seeing things turning the corner a little bit. The precipitation outlooks are below normal.” Temperature predictions do not call for extremely hot weather, just mostly highs in the 70s and some 80s, much closer to the seasonal average.

(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)