Johnson County experiencing flooding, prepares for worst - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Johnson County experiencing flooding, prepares for worst

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The Army Corps of Engineers at the Coralville Lake are projecting that, for the first time this year, water will go over the emergency spillway. The Army Corps of Engineers at the Coralville Lake are projecting that, for the first time this year, water will go over the emergency spillway.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The Army Corps of Engineers at Coralville Lake is projecting water will go over the emergency spillway next week.

The prediction comes after heavy rain in the Iowa River basin Wednesday and the forecast for more of the same through Friday.

In response, the Corps has increased its discharge rate at the reservoir to 14,000 cubic feet per second.

On Friday, the Corps is expected to increase the outflow to 17,000 cfs, causing further problems.

Officials in Johnson County say they are preparing for water to go over the 712-foot dam on Tuesday, but that projection is subject to change based on how much rain the Iowa River basin sustains thorough Friday.

"Once it goes over the dam, we anticipate the outflows at somewhere here in the neighborhood of 22,000 cubic feet per second, and that will have significant flooding events for areas in Johnson County," said Terrence Neuzil, spokesperson for Johnson County Emergency Management.

The rushing water is already causing problems.

Just downstream of the dam, water has inundated homes on Stewart Road Northeast.

On Thursday, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office asked residents like Chris Hochstedler to evacuate.

"It's very frantic," she said. "We never thought we would have to pull everything out of the house that fast."

Further downstream in Iowa City, water is threatening properties on Normandy Drive.

Some people were moving out Thursday in anticipation of higher water levels Friday.

"I've seen what they've been building around here, and I'm kind of worried," said one resident, who asked to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile Dubuque Street and Lower City Park will be closed near Mayflower Residence Hall for the foreseeable future.

"We anticipate that that will not open again until at least the middle of June," said Rick Fosse, Iowa City Public Works Director.

The University of Iowa continues to run a highly-coordinated flood protection effort through its contractors and is looking to finish up its sandbagging efforts around Mayflower on Friday, just ahead of threatening floodwaters.

The Art Building West flood wall has been completed, and the facility was closed as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

The Theater Building and Art Museum will be closed Friday at 5 p.m.

Otherwise, it's business as usual on campus.

"Apart from the buildings that are being discontinued, and those programs being relocated to high and dry locations, we will continue to operate as normal at the University of Iowa," said Rod Lehnertz with UI Facilities Management.

Anybody in Johnson County that sees a flood-related problem, needs assistance, or would like to volunteer is asked to call United Way Johnson County at (319) 337-8657.

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