Overnight Rains Lead to Flash Flooding; Highway 1, Highway 151 Closed

By Max Walker, Digital Editor

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Rain Sunday night and into Monday morning dropped three inches or more on many parts of eastern Iowa. With river levels just returning to normal after the summer's first round of river flooding and ground already saturated with moisture, streets and low-lying areas quickly filled with water.

In Asbury, in Dubuque County, a homeowner in the 6100 block of Forest Hills Drive reported several feet of water in his basement.

In Linn County, Highway 151 is closed at the Prairie Creek bridge near Fairfax. The bridge collapsed after a semi-trailer truck crossed it, according to the Linn County Sheriff's Office. Detour information is not yet available.

And Highway 1 is closed north of Mount Vernon after a large portion of the roadway washed away due to rising floodwaters, the sheriff's office said.

The rain created a busy night for first responders in Jones County. Dispatchers said firefighters in Morley went door-to-door evacuating residents because of flash flooding. Volunteers joined firefighters in Olin and Wyoming to help with sandbagging.

Cedar Rapids police and fire crews spent the overnight hours responding to stranded motorists and trying to locate roads washed out by flash flood waters. After the flooding decreased around 2 a.m., officers and city street workers started clearing debris and abandoned vehicles. Police reported standing water was still an issue in some low-lying areas, and urged caution during the morning commute because of the extent of the flood damage.

The rain also led to a dramatic rise in the levels of some Iowa rivers. Gauges maintained by the United States Geologic Survey recorded the Wapsipinicon River at Anamosa rising 6.2 feet in 4.5 hours, enough to take it into moderate flood stage. The Cedar River in Cedar Rapids rose 2.15 feet in a little more than three hours.

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