Johnson County volunteers fill sandbags to prepare for flooding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Johnson County volunteers fill sandbags to prepare for flooding


Many Eastern Iowans continue to prepare for flooding Sunday, especially in Johnson County where the reservoir at Coralville Lake isn't expected to crest until Friday.

As of Sunday, water was flowing into the reservoir at a rate of 32,000 cubic feet per second. The Army Corps of Engineers has set the outflow to 18,000 cubic feet per second. The peak outflow is expected later this week and many spent the weekend helping prepare.

Some families spent their weekend lending a helping hand.

"From the sounds of it it sounded like they could use as much help as they could get so we decided to come together," said Joan Vanden Berg, of Iowa City

"The community needs help," said Daniel Kelly, Vanden Berg's son. "Iowa City's my home so it's good to help them out."


They were among the hundreds who spent the weekend filling sandbags ahead of the anticipated flooding in Johnson County. The United Way set up an Emergency Volunteer Center at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. They'll be taking volunteers from 8a.m.-8p.m. all week long, deploying them wherever they're needed.

"Number one trying to get ahead of the curve," said Mark Martin, Director of Disaster Services. "Number two as the river keeps going up more people will start to get nervous and then we'll end up with more sandbagging. It's just something you don't know so you prepare for it.


The reservoir at Coralville Lake is expected to crest Friday. As the water moves downstream, county officials expect as many as 64 buildings may flood. The sandbags are ready to be deployed to anyone who needs them.

"I just think it's interesting and kind of nice to see the community come together to help people," said Kelly, who will return with his family later in the week.


"I think actually they should let the kids out of school tomorrow so they can do it, since it's the last day of school and there isn't much going on but yeah we would like to come back to help," said Vanden Berg.

Several recreational areas at Coralville Lake have already closed due to the water level. Monday the Army Corps will shut down access to the dam. That's because so many people have been out taking a look. The corps wants to make sure they can do their job.The roadway that goes across the Coralville dam will close Monday night at 10. No traffic will be allowed past the barricades at that time.

Also, officials in Iowa City have recommended evacuations for people who live in the 800 block of Normandy Drive and for those in the Taft Speedway neighborhood but they say no mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

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