Minor Flooding Expected in Waverly

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

WAVERLY, Iowa - Waverly city officials are telling residents to expect minor flooding in the southeast part of town as the Cedar River bulges.

The blame is on recent rains further north that dropped ten inches in less than a day's time.

Residents should expect to see minor flooding on roads, parks and possibly groundwater in a few basements.

The river is expected to crest about three feet above flood stage, sometime Wednesday morning. Not soon enough for those who spent the day watching water inch closer and pick up speed.

"It looks very violent. It's moving fast," said resident, Bethany Burchard.

Beth Olson watched, Tuesday, as the river claimed a large portion of her backyard.

"I planted some grass seed. I imagine that's washed away. We'll see what remains when the water goes back down," said Olson.

This is the fourth flood event Olson's experienced at her house on First Street SE. She's taking precautions this time. She took a day off work to empty her basement and set up her sump pump. But she's not bitter about it.

"When you see the birds swooping in, the fish jumping, life on the river can be spectacular. It's a price you pay," said Olson.

For the city, it's a fight to keep roads open. They expect at least three will flood, Third, Fourth Street and Seventh Ave.

On Seventh, workers have installed a flood barrier, but as of Tuesday night water was already creeping through it. If things get worse city crews will close roads.

"Turn around, don't drown. We really don't want people driving through water over streets. It takes about six inches to float a car, even an SUV," said City Administrator Phil Jones.

Officials expect water levels will start to return to normal Wednesday into Thursday. Until then, people like Olson will do what they've always done, wait it out.

"What are you going to do about it? You can't do a thing about it, but wait it out. Do the best to control things on your end," said Olson.

Downstream in Black Hawk County, George Wyth State Park is closed due to the expected flooding. Campers with reservations can receive a full refund. The park and campground could reopen Saturday morning depending on the weather.
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