HIGHWAY OPENS: Flooded Road Drys Out

Posted on: 5:49 pm, May 29, 2013, by

Communities have spent the last few days cleaning up from Sunday’s downpour. This latest rain is washing away any progress they made.

“It’s just been a headache for anybody north of the river to get to Marshalltown,” says Iowa DOT Highway Supervisor Mark Stephens.

Highway 14 north of Marshalltown is still closed. The Iowa River has taken over the main four-lane highway to town. That isn’t the only headache for drivers. The water was more than a foot deep across Highway 330. Around noon today, the DOT reopened that closed stretch of road.

“You bet, I’m glad it’s open,” says Tim Hutcheson.

Hutcheson has lived next to the Iowa River for more than 30 years. Just because he expects flooding doesn’t mean he has to like it.

“We all have water in our basement, but we’ll manage,” says Hutcheson.

“I haven’t seen it this way before and people here a lot longer than I haven’t seen that,” says Marshalltown Public Works Director Lynn Couch.

The city’s holding ponds that flooded earlier this week now have room to spare.

“That’s to keep us from flooding on the interior of the city in anticipation of getting more rain. If we get more rain, then those ponds will fill again, we need to keep those pumped down,” he says.

What takes days to dry can flood again in a matter of minutes.

“It’s kind of a never-ending battle until it gets back in its banks for a while,” says Stephens.

At last check, the Iowa River measured at 19.4 feet. It reached a record 21.8 feet in 2008.