Coralville Lake projected to crest Thursday 2 feet below dam - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Coralville Lake projected to crest Thursday 2 feet below dam

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Substantial flooding continues in Johnson County, but there are indications that the worst may soon be over. Substantial flooding continues in Johnson County, but there are indications that the worst may soon be over.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Substantial flooding continues in Johnson County, but there are indications that the worst may soon be over.

The Army Corps of Engineers is scaling back its projections after a string of dry weather over the weekend.

The pool at the Coralville Lake is now forecasted to crest at 710 feet -- two feet below the emergency spillway -- on Thursday.

Still, there is no clear end to the flooding in sight.

Guy Smith, who lives on Taft Speedway in Iowa City, says he has more than four feet of water in his basement.

City officials have urged residents there to evacuate, but Smith says he will stay and wait it out.

"I don't have any place to go," he said. "I'd just rather be here than somewhere else, even though I've got to walk in and out of the water every day."

The gates are now open at the Coralville Reservoir, with water pouring out of the dam at a rate of 18,400 cubic feet per second.

While the flooding still hasn't hit its peak, officials aren't expecting conditions to get much worse, as long as water stays underneath the spillway.

 "I think that is welcome news for all of us," said Terrence Neuzil, lead public information officer for Johnson County Emergency Management.

Meanwhile, the University of Iowa continues its proactive protection of campus, lining 5,000 linear feet of Hesco barriers stacked two high on both sides of the river.

As of Thursday night, all buildings remained dry -- "If we don't get more rain," cautioned University of Iowa president Sally Mason.

"If the water levels continue to come out of the dam at this rate, and not too much higher than this, we should be OK," Mason said.

The Army Corps of Engineers has indicated dam discharge rates will remain high even after the crest as officials try to get the lake level down to a more manageable rate.

Many, like Smith, are hoping for the flooding to end soon.

"The sooner it gets over, the better for everybody, and I hope it don't get worse than this," Smith said.

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