2009 Flooding

Herald file photo by Andy Goodell/In this photo from March 2009, a semitruck drives through water that covers Highway 92 just west of the Oskaloosa city limits. Flooding could begin in Mahasaka County this weekend.

Just because it’s getting warmer, doesn’t mean it’s getting better.

There’s no question a lot of snow plaguing the streets of Oskaloosa and roadways of Mahaska County is now gone. But, with the melting snow and recent bouts of heavy rainfall, the “f” word could be upon us.

Mahaska County remained under a flood warning through this morning. Although the immediate flood threat seems to be diminishing, there’s no question it remains a possibility. Minor flooding is occurring and forecast to continue.

Jamey Robinson, Mahaska County Emergency Management coordinator, said he and his staff have been preparing for flooding this week. Although it’s not expected to get too serious today or this weekend, the minor flooding occurring is a reminder of what can happen this time of year.

“My concern is Eddyville,” said Robinson in a Herald interview Thursday morning. “We’ve been counting our sandbags. We’re ready to pull the trigger and get rolling if we need to.”

Right now, Robinson said he has 170,000 sandbags at his disposal and could get twice as many, if need be.

The recent melting of snow and ice, along with the recent rains had pushed water levels in Eddyville to near record heights already, said Robinson. He added, it appeared water levels in Eddyville were going down throughout Thursday.

It’s not just the local snow and ice melt that is causing flood-preparations in Mahaska County, said Robinson.

“If snow in northern Iowa continues to melt and we get more rain, that combination could be of concern,” explained Robinson. “I have friends in northwestern Iowa that still have four or five feet of snow in their front yard. Hopefully we won’t get a repeat of 1993 or 2008.”

At the Oskaloosa Water Plant north of Oskaloosa, there is less of a flood concern than in previous years. Robinson said that by moving electrical and pump controls and increasing the height of the levy to 30 feet, it is less likely the area near the plant will flood.

For more information on preparing for a flood emergency, visit www.mahaskaready.com.


Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com


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