Flood waters impacting response times for emergency crews - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flood waters impacting response times for emergency crews

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Flood waters are impacting many across eastern Iowa and it's even delaying response times for emergency crews.

Dubuque Street in Iowa City has been closed for days, and it's one of the main roads Iowa City Fire Chief John Grier says they use in getting to emergencies.

"The inability to use Dubuque Street does hamper our response, a little bit," said Grier. "Luckily we don't experience a high volume of calls to that neighborhood area."

With the street closed, first responders say response times when it comes to the community’s safety is potentially impacted. Although Chief Grier says he doesn't have the exact times, having to detour to get to residential calls does slow things down.

Ruth Bradley lives in Iowa City and while she says flooding near Dubuque Street is almost common, it's still a problem.

"You have to call a first responder, there's always the concern that they're going to be able to get there on time," said Bradley. "And it cuts off a whole section of Iowa City."

Dubuque Street serves as a main entrance and key gateway into Iowa City for residents and visitors.

Since it parallels the Iowa River, with flood waters resting over it more than 25,000 drivers have to detour, including emergency responders.

"I think about pregnant women in the area, they're on their way and they have to take another route to the hospital," said Bradley. "An elderly person who might need assistance." Despite the street being closed, Grier says drivers can actually help in making sure they get to emergencies faster.

"When you see lights and hear sirens just pull to the right and stop and that will help up get to where we need to go more quickly," said Grier.

Iowa City leaders say they're anticipating Dubuque Street to be closed for at least month, but it all depends on the weather.

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