Turkey River crests, on the decline in Clayton County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Turkey River crests, on the decline in Clayton County

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The swollen Turkey River flows near Garber Friday afternoon The swollen Turkey River flows near Garber Friday afternoon
GARBER (KWWL) -

The swollen Turkey River in Clayton County has crested, putting residents and business owners in Elkader and Garber at ease.

The river had been sharply rising since early Thursday morning.

Clayton County emergency management coordinator Joel Biggs said some low-lying gravel roads in the county are covered with water, but main roads remain high and dry.

Nearby cornfields, however, are not so lucky.

Roger Szemkus farms some 200 acres of corn in Clayton County. About 30 of those are now under water.

"You just deal with it. What else can you do?" Szemkus said, who added federal crop insurance will help cover the loss. "It's just a nuisance, you know. It seems like it's more prevalent in the last few years. It seems like it happens every year now."

Garber fire chief Chad Kuehl grew up in the area and has seen the Turkey River flood many times.

"Usually the river is actually in this tree line over here," Kuehl said, standing on the bridge outside Garber that crosses the Turkey River. "So it got quite wide, and eventually, they always say, the river will take its natural path. The natural path used to be through this field, so every year it starts cutting through this field the first thing."

He said this current flood is tame compared to previous floods, such as a particularly devastating one in 2004.

This current flood's water level has "fallen short of the town," Kuehl said. "We've got it on the lower street here, but, for the most part, we're in pretty good shape. The farmers are going to lose some fields and some crops and stuff like that, but, other than that, so far, we're good."

While it seems Garber is in the clear this time, this town of about 80 people has more than 2,000 sandbags on hand -- just in case.

The Turkey River at Elkader crested at 2 p.m. Friday at 18.55 feet. As of early Friday evening, the National Weather Service predicted the river would crest at Garber at 7 p.m. Friday at 24.5 feet.

Clayton County officials continue to monitor the Turkey River levels and hope that more rain doesn't cause it to rise again.

Monitor the Turkey River levels HERE: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/river.php?wfo=arx&wfoid=18688&riverid=204295&pt%5B%5D=142776&pt%5B%5D=144823&allpoints=147696%2C147199%2C145950%2C147987%2C147692%2C142776%2C144823&data%5B%5D=hydrograph&data%5B%5D=impacts

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