UPDATE: Wapsi River crested at 13.4 feet in Independence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Wapsi River crested at 13.4 feet in Independence

Posted: Updated:
Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender
Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender
Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender
Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender Aerial photos courtesy of John Bender
The Wapsipinicon River at Independence crested at 13.42 feet between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday. The Wapsipinicon River at Independence crested at 13.42 feet between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday.
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INDEPENDENCE (KWWL) -

The Wapsipinicon River at Independence crested at 13.42 feet between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The crest was about two feet under the expected crest of 15 feet it was projected to reach on Thursday morning.

The river was originally expected to crest at 24 feet early Wednesday afternoon, which would have been higher than the record that was set in 1999.

Parts of northeast Independence are still underwater, but water levels do continue to fall. 

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The Wapsipinicon River at Independence will reach more than 15 feet Thursday evening. 

Officials have repeatedly revised down the crest from its original estimate of 24 feet.

The town spent Wednesday preparing for flash flooding and equipping emergency crews and services with necessary supplies.

A Code Red was issued for Buchanan County at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Emergency Management for Buchanan County said its main priority now is alerting people of the expected flooding.

Independence had already received 4.5 inches of rain as of 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, and that number rose to six inches by 5:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service had forecasted the river to reach 8.5 feet, but at 8 a.m. Wednesday, it surpassed that with 11.2 feet. NWS predicts it will reach 24 feet Wednesday afternoon.

Rick Wulfekuhle, Buchanan County Emergency Management Coordinator, says there is water on the roads in east Independence and on the northeast side of the river. He urges people to use caution as they drive through downtown.

Wulfekuhle thinks Independence will be in flood stage around 9 or 10 Wednesday morning.

Evacuations are currently voluntary, but residents are urged not to wait until the last minute since the river is expected to rise quickly.

Sandbagging can be done in Independence at the Independence City Shop on 12th Street N.E. or West Elementary School. In Jesup, residents can bag sand at the Buchanan County Shop, downtown Jesup location at 831 Douglas Street.

Many roads in Buchanan County have been compromised. Use caution when traveling and avoid areas marked by barricades or flags.

The construction site on Highway 150 south is closed until further notice. Alternate routes away from gravel roads should be used to detour around this area.

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