Anamosa holds off flooding from Wapsipinicon River - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Anamosa holds off flooding from Wapsipinicon River

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ANAMOSA (KWWL) - People came from across eastern Iowa on Monday to see the aftermath of last week's heavy rainfall. Many people were surprised to see the normally quiet and calm Wapsipinicon River turned into raging whitewater rapids.

"It's probably just about as high as it's ever been," said Fay Oltmann, an Anamosa resident for 60 years. He was just one member of a crowd gathered to see what the river was doing.

"It's unbelievable how fast it can go up," said Kendra Hummel, who grew up here, and now lives in Marion. She remembers walking across the century-old footbridge in Wapsipinicon State Park as a child. Part of that park is now underwater.

She hopes the bridge can withstand the punishment it's receiving from large pieces of debris knocking at its supports.

"I don't know what's making it stay...it's old."

But city officials say water went over that bridge in 2008, when no amount of sandbagging could stop the flooding. That's when the city's wastewater treatment plant was overrun, causing it to be shut down for months. This time, sandbaggers had enough warning to build up the cement barrier surrounding the plant.

"At that time, we were sitting at 15 [feet] before we got that 5 inches of rain on the 12th or 13th of June, and with that 5 inches of rain, it sent us over in a matter of hours," said Larry Driscoll, Director of Public Works.

The river is not expected to reach those levels from two years ago, and is set to crest sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

As of mid-afternoon on Monday, city officials here believed that the water levels were holding steady. The only thing left for them to do was wait for them to go down.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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