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.
Here’s a video of flooding in Louisa County, where Columbus Junction, Wapello, Oakville and several other towns are located:
Near the spot where the Iowa and Cedar Rivers meet, sits the small town of Columbus Junction in Louisa County. On Tuesday, nearly all of the town’s 1900 residents met at the fire station to fill sandbag after sandbag, working desperately to build a levee and protect the town.
In 1993, Columbus Junction saw its worst flood on record when the Iowa River crested at just over 28 feet. On Sunday, the river is expected to crest at over 32 feet, well above that historic level.
No one really knows what will happen if the water gets as high as the Nation Weather Service is predicting. Right now, just about everybody who lives in this town is working frantically to save it.
Middle School and high school students work alongside their teachers, but non have ever had a lesson like this one — sandbagging to save their downtown.
Here is another video of flooding in Iowa that features Columbus Junction: