IOWA RIVER: Crews Work To Keep Highway Open

The Iowa River is spilling over its banks, and threatening roads, businesses and homes. There’s one road in Tama County officials are making an extra effort to save- Highway 30.

The DOT is teaming up with local fire departments, like Tama and Toledo to pump water, build berms and even shoot water over traffic to keep Highway 30 open. And crews say as of Tuesday afternoon, they have been able to keep ahead of the flooding.

“US 30 is a major corridor through the state. You’ve got towns that are dependent on hospital services, so we want to keep the roadway open,” said Scott Dockstader with the Iowa DOT.

That road has become even more significant since just about every other major roadway in the area is under water. And right in the center – is Marshalltown.

John Wise owns a car dealership in Marshalltown, and his main concern isn’t just getting to his business, its keeping it above water.

“Anytime you got a river that`s 300 yards away from you its concerning,” said Wise.

The rising river isn’t the only reason for alarm. “We have some ground water that`s seeping up and it’s kind of lapping at the employee parking and some of the areas we park customers cars so we`re moving them forward,” said Wise.

The city is doing what it can to minimize the damage, but with the saturated ground it isn’t easy.

“Today the crews are out cleaning out intake areas that have become full of debris,” said Bruce Campbell, Assistant to the City Engineer in Marshalltown.

But city officials say there is only so much they can do and remind people to be careful.

“Stay away from the covered road. You don`t know what’s in there, that water really does move quickly, if you try to drive through it, pressure on the tire of the vehicle will sweep you away quicker than you think16:53:16 even wading in it is dangerous,” said Campbell.