Heavy Rainfall Leaves Areas Of Northeast Iowa Flooded
Excessive rainfall in northeast Iowa overnight resulted in flash flooding that forced evacuations and left many communities and rural roads under water.
Some of the hardest hit areas are in Bremer, Chickasaw, Clayton and Fayette counties. Thunderstorms that rolled across the region dumped heavy rain in a span of about three hours. Estimated rainfall totals included eight inches at Fayette, seven inches at New Hampton and four inches at Oelwein.
Heavy rainfall also fell over the same area on Friday (July 21, 2017).
In Bremer County, Sumner has been inundated by flooding. Emergency Management officials report the city's utility plant is flooded and the controls are under water and inoperable. Authorities said a generator is being brought in and crews plan to connect emergency power at strategic locations around the community to restore damaged circuits. (CLICK HERE to see videos and photos of flooding in Sumner).
An emergency shelter is now available for residents displaced by flooding. The shelter is operating at the Chapel at the Hillcrest Home in Sumner, using the Chapel entrance.
Sumner residents are dealing with flooding for the second time in less than 24 hours. The community was also inundated Friday afternoon, following a deluge of rain.
At 6 a.m. Saturday (July 22), the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) was reporting that Iowa Highway 93 was closed in several places between Sumner and Randalia, due to water over the road.
In Fayette County, sheriff's officials were recommending no travel in the southwest part of the county. In a Facebook post, Sheriff Marty Fisher said many roads were under water. Flooding had closed Iowa Highway 3 between Oelwein and County Road V-62 near Oran.
In Oelwein, Otter Creek was rising overnight. Around 2 a.m. Saturday, officials reported the creek was nearly out of its banks and they were urging residents along to seek higher ground.
Sandbagging was also taking place in New Hampton, Chickasaw County officials said. Flood water closed U.S. Highway 18 just east of Fredericksburg around 2 a.m. Saturday, but by 7 a.m., the IDOT reported the road had reopened.
Further east, authorities said the Turkey River rose about 16 feet overnight. The rapid rise has resulted in multiple road closures in Clayton County, where at least one bridge was collapsed. Authorities said the biggest area of concern is between Guttenberg and Garber. At 7 a.m., IDOT officials reported that U.S. Highway 52 was under water near Garnavillo.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for several northeast Iowa counties through Saturday morning.