Independence braces for flooding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Independence braces for flooding

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BUCHANAN COUNTY (KWWL) -

While a few communities are cleaning up after devastating weather, others are doing what they can to prepare for flooding.

River water has been rising quickly and communities are working to save homes and businesses, like Costa's in Fairbank, where dozens of people helped owner Kevin Kaufman sandbag Saturday night.

"You don't even have to call, they just show up," said Kaufman. "They all showed up...there were probably 200 to 250 people sandbagging...this place was completely under water, probably three and a half to five feet in different places. Everybody worked, some were in water up to their chests and kept sandbagging and we never lost a thing."

Costa's stayed dry and the community was working to clean up some of the residue the river left behind today.

"To the extent of where the water was and how high it was yesterday I think we are very fortunate," said Bill Cowell, Fairbank Mayor.

The Wapsi River has taken over parts of Fairbank and while that community is cleaning up the town of Independence is preparing for what the Wapsi has planned for them.

"I hope it will rise fast and crest fast and drop," said Lauren Gibbs, Independence.

The river has been slowly creeping into Gibbs' yard and onto the road behind her home.

"It's a little surreal and it's frustrating that even when there's just a little bit of water people will still drive through it, so please stay off the flooded streets," said Gibbs.

Gibbs says she and her family are prepared, but they still hope the Wapsi stays away from their home.

"Last year we built shelves in our basement high on the wall so unless it hits 20 feet we are probably okay...we learned our lesson," said Gibbs.

The Wapsi River is set to crest late Sunday or early Monday morning at 18.5 feet in Independence. The town of Fairbank is set to bring their extra sandbags to the town to help.

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