Record rainfall, flash flooding and fires in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Record rainfall, flash flooding and fires in Dubuque

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10.92 inches of rain fell in Dubuque overnight and rain continues to fall over eastern Iowa.  That's a record for the day in Dubuque, and the most of any July day in history.  There were unofficial reports of 12 inches in Galena and Peosta. 

The American Red Cross has opened shelters with food and water at Prescott Elementary in Dubuque and East Dubuque High School in East Dubuque, Ill. The city of Dubuque has also opened an assistance center at the Dubuque Five Flags Center at 405 Main Street.

Shuttles are being provided from Comiskey Park in Dubuque at the 24th Street parking lot entrance running to Prescott Elementary and the Five Flags Center.

Travel in some parts of Dubuque may be limited due to open manholes, downed power lines, and debris on the roadway, and storm water in the streets. If residents see a manhole cover that is out of place, please contact the Public Works Department at 563-589-4250.

Free sandbags are available for pick-up at the Municipal Services Center at 925 Kerper Court.

Anyone needing help pumping water out of their homes can call the Dubuque Fire Department at 563-589-4415. A list is being created and crews will get to them as soon as possible.

The Julien Dubuque/US 20 Bridge remains closed due to street flooding in East Dubuque. Some exit ramps off of highways 151/61 are currently closed. Hwy 52 N is closed in both directions due to flash flooding.

There were tornado warnings earlier in the evening Wednesday, but there have been no confirmed reports of tornado touchdowns or damage.

Dubuque County emergency responders were busy all night long helping people stranded in vehicles and putting out fires started as a result of the weather.

A house was destroyed by fire on Kelly Lane.  Firefighters couldn't get to the flames because the house was surrounded by flash flooding.  The owners say they were leaving their home because of the flooding and the fire started in the garage when they started the engine.  They think flood water in the garage must have combined with chemicals and sparked with the car ignition.  They watched as the house burned to the ground.  One firefighter was hospitalized for a leg injury but no one else was hurt.

Perkins on Highway 20 also caught fire around 4:30 a.m.  Three employees and one customer were inside the restaurant at the time of a lightning strike, which they believe sparked the blaze. 

Earlier in the night, some residents of Dubuque's historic Bishop Block Apartments got a rude awakening.  Lightning hit the building and bricks fell from the structure into the street.  The area remains closed off as a precaution for further falling bricks.

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