HUMBOLDT, Iowa – Much of northwestern Iowa has seen the brunt of the heavy rainfall and with more rain on the way, communities are bracing themselves for flooding.
The west fork of the Des Moines River is slowly creeping its way into the town of Humboldt. The water level is on pace for the highest ever in history after a month’s worth of rain in a week.
“The whole landscape has changed just dramatically over the last few days,” said resident Craig Stripling.
Five inches of rain has fallen over the last three days raising the flood risk for Humboldt to moderate. .
But with more rain in the forecast, climatologists say that risk could jump from moderate to extreme overnight.
“Right now the river is at 13 feet and if it stays at 13 feet well be pretty good and if it keeps going up we may have to take some more measures,” state climatologist Harry Hillaker said.
The city put in place a couple of berms to keep water away but high water levels have already soaked parks and washed away a bridge project.
The city predicts the river could rise to 15 feet, the highest it’s ever been. Eventually it could put more stress on lakes downstream like Saylorville, which is already filling up fast.
Hillaker says Rock Rapids has received eleven inches of rain since last Saturday. That’s the most of any northwest Iowa town.