Dubuque's Upper Bee Branch functioning, flash flood fixes on the - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's Upper Bee Branch functioning, flash flood fixes on the way

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A deluge of rain this week in Dubuque has caused a number of flash floods to slow down traffic and overwhelm storm sewers in part of the city.

Many wondering if the current work to daylight a creek on the Upper Bee Branch is supposed to be alleviating that flooding.

"The creek project in itself is helping, but when you see all that flooding coming down 22nd street or 17th street--we have other phases that are going to take place over the next couple of years to extend storm sewers, get more of that water off the street, to an acceptable level where it's floating cars and having these geysers of water coming down the street," said Deron Muehring, a civil engineer for the city.

And while fixes to the flash flood prone areas are on the way, others nervous about the high levels of water on the actual creek part of the project.

It did seem high, but Muehring says it's functioning as it should be.

"It's much better that it's in this creek and the floodplain area where the water is meant to be, versus five feet on the street, in people's basements. Five feet in people's basements. So we're getting it to where it should be versus where it has been in the past," he said.

This week's storms left quite a mess along the creek, as dirt and topsoil shifted under the water.  Muehring says landscaping they plan to install will help alleviate the cleanup efforts in the future.

The Upper Bee Branch portion of the project will be fully functional by the end of this year, and completed early next year, Muehring says.  He adds that completion will allow water to drain faster, meaning water levels probably won't get as high as they did this week.

But in all, the total project, will the phases still planned, won't be completed until 2021.

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