Mandatory Johnson County evacuations end; people return home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mandatory Johnson County evacuations end; people return home


Ryan Markle has been living right off the Iowa River in Johnson County for about two years. A couple weeks ago, he had a new experience.

"To have the sheriff come and knock on your door and say you have to leave, it was a little intimidating at first," said Markle/

His area of Johnson County often faces flooding problems.

People who've been around for years say they've never been forced to leave their homes before.

"Mandatory evacuation is kind of a new deal," said Loren Southwick, who owns several homes in the Izaak Walton League area of Johnson County. "Usually we're left to survive ourselves, make our own decisions when to leave. So this is kind of new."

The river didn't raise enough to actually have much flood damage. The reason people had to be out of their houses for two weeks was because the streets were impassable. Utilities to the homes were shut off and all access to the area was limited to emergency crews. It's a decision that upset many who have fought flooding before.

"I understand why they do it but I don't agree with shutting the power off and not giving you a fighting chance," said Southwick.

The low lying area near Izaak Walton Rd SE frequently faces flooding when the river is high. People who live there say they're staying put.

"There's always a concern when you live on the water but we really like the area out here," said Markle. "We like the privacy. We like the surroundings in general."

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