Rain fuels flooding fears - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rain fuels flooding fears

by Bryan Goettel

WASHINGTON COUNTY (KWWL) - Washington County has been among the counties hit hardest in the state by flooding over the past few days.  As of Monday night, a dozen gravel roads were closed due to flooding. And with more rain in the forecast, things could get worse.

Joseph Beachy and his wife moved into a house on the banks of the English River in Kalona 14 years ago. Their basement flooded shortly after they moved in. Now they're battling it again.

"We feel much better prepared now then we were then," said Beachy.

Beachy has had a sump pump running to keep the water out.

"The water is coming into the sump," said Beachy.

Just a few feet from the Beachy's house, stream gaugers from the U.S. Geological Survey checked the river level. They found it more than four feet above flood stage and rising.

"Our feelings are the reason why this has been happening is the ground really hasn't thawed enough," said USGS biologist Jason McVay. 

It's creating problems across the county.

"We've had a number of gravel roads wash out, so to speak, so we've had to go back and try to do emergency repairs in those locations," said Washington County Engineer David Patterson.

County Road 38 is the major route into Washington from the west. Early Monday it was under water.

"This morning a couple guys we sat there and looked at it, we thought about crossing, but we used our better judgment and turned around," said Matt Greiner who takes CR 38 to work every morning.

Instead, Greiner had to take a nearly twenty minute detour, one he could be facing again Tuesday.

"We are very concerned about the rain that's coming or is forecast to come," said Patterson.

Beachy is hopeful the situation won't get any worse, but if it does, "I guess we've got a bluff here we can run for that if it comes to," said Beachy.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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