Levee breach in Columbus Junction

Parts of Columbus Junction inundated by 12 feet of water. My guess is that the Economart (CJ’s grocery store) as well as all the other businesses in that part of town have been impacted by this levee breach as that area of town is like a giant bowl.

Parts of Columbus Junction are under approximately 12 to 15 feet of water after the rising waters of the Iowa River breached the north-south portion of its permanent levee Saturday night.

City Councilman Hal Prior said the breach occurred shortly after 7 p.m. and parts of the city’s business district is now, temporarily, part of the Iowa River.

“It looked like a tidal wave came in,” Prior said, adding there were no homes in the area where the water gushed.

A temporary levee constructed this past week to protect the water plant broke earlier in the day.

via the Burlington Hawk Eye

Hydrologic predictions + Columbus Junction

Columbus Junction flood prediction graph

The Advanced Hydrologic Predictions Service’s data on Columbus Junction, Iowa is not looking good. The flood waters are now being predicted to crest at 34.8 ft. (more than 6 ft. higher than the previous record set in 1993.)

Previous historical flood water crests:
(1) 28.30 ft on 07/07/1993
(2) 24.28 ft on 05/30/2004
(3) 23.50 ft on 02/23/1997
(3) 23.50 ft on 05/12/1996

Impact of flood waters in Columbus Junction at various flood stages:

  • 36.0 Water affects the Iowa Highway 92 bridge roadway.
  • 31.8 Water is at the lowest portion of the midspan of the IA Hwy 92 bridge.
  • 31.3 Water is at the lowest portion of the west abutment on the IA Hwy 92 bridge.
  • 31.0 Water is on the west approach to the Iowa Highway 92 bridge.
  • 31.0 Water is at the lowest portion of the east abutment of the IA Hwy 92 bridge.
  • 23.0 Water affects residential property along the river south of the Iowa Highway 92 bridge.

Update: Columbus Junction, Iowa flooding

flooding in columbus junction iowa evacuations have been ordered
Evacuations ordered around Columbus Junction, Iowa:

Authorities have ordered evacuations in Fredonia and parts of Columbus Junction and Columbus City as big water heads down the Iowa River.

The towns have sandbagged heavily. But Iowa Homeland Security spokesman Bret Voorhees says the evacuations were ordered this morning because the river is projected to be higher than earlier thought.

All of Fredonia’s roughly 250 people have been ordered out. A shelter has been set up northeast of town at Louisa Muscatine Middle School.

The evacuation in Columbus Junction and Columbus City is along the levee and low-lying areas downtown.

A water treatment plant in the area has been shut down as a precaution. Voorhees says authorities are working to make sure there’s enough drinking water for the towns.

Earlier today Columbus Junction City Councilman Hal Prior said there will be a “catastrophic failure” of the nearby levee within 24 hours.

A smaller levee breach was discovered about an hour ago in this southeast Iowa town, which is near the convergence of the Iowa and Cedar rivers in Louisa County. Crews have abandoned work on the levee.

City Councilman Hal Prior said if the levee breaks down, water will rush through the town’s main area. The city’s only gas station, a number of other businesses and a senior social center would be in the water’s path.

The National Guard sounded an alarm when the levee was breached and most helpers got out of the area. A few guard members are still watching over the levee.

Columbus Junction’s water plant was shut down as a precautionary measure, officials said. As of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, no floodwater was inside the plant. A shelter has been set up for residents.

via the Des Moines Register

Aerial video of flooding in and around Des Moines, Iowa after the jump. (The video auto-plays…)

Continue reading Update: Columbus Junction, Iowa flooding

Columbus Junction, Iowa

flooding in Columbus Junction Iowa

The flood stage for my hometown of Columbus Junction, Iowa is 19 ft. The floodwaters reached 28.3 ft. in 1993. The current prediction is that the flood waters will crest at 33.2 ft. I remember how bad it was in 1993. This is much worse. My parents live out in the country and are at a high enough elevation that they are safe from flooding. My mother told me yesterday that they cannot travel north or east as the roads are closed due to flooding.

Columbus Junction’s Mayor Dan Wilson says they’re trying to save the town’s business district. All the stores in the district were closed Friday afternoon, including the town’s only grocery store, bowling alley, doctor’s office and senior center and child daycare center. All were surrounded by stacks of sandbags. “We’re in uncharted territory,” says Wilson. “We”ve done everything we can.”

via the USA Today

The Economart, Columbus Junction’s grocery store, has the potential to be inundated with up to 4 ft. of water if the levees fail. I used to work there as a teenager. I’ve bowled at the bowling alley. The doctor’s office that is at risk is the clinic that I used to go to when I was growing up in Columbus Junction.

Continue reading Columbus Junction, Iowa

University of Iowa + flooding

The University of Iowa emergency homepage

The University of Iowa will be closed for at least a week due to flooding in Iowa City. The U of Iowa’s website has been stripped of almost all images and is providing important updates to university students and personnel. The University of Iowa News Services Department is using a combination of Blogger and Flickr to conserve the university’s bandwidth.

For more information, please consult the University of Iowa Flood Information Site hosted on Blogger. Photographs from the U of Iowa’s New Services Dept can be found on the UI News Flickr site. KSUI 91.7 on Iowa Public Radio is providing extensive regional news, flood and emergency updates for Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and other locations in eastern Iowa that are and will be heavily impacted in the coming days by flood waters.

Continue reading University of Iowa + flooding