Officials Keeping Eye on Stressed Road in New Hartford

By Karen Bushanam, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

A resident makes her way Thursday, May 30, 2013, through high water on Main Street in New Hartford. (DENNIS MAGEE / Courier)

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By Aaron Hepker

NEW HARTFORD, Iowa - Officials are keeping a sharp eye on a stressed portion of Ridge Avenue, a county gravel road that essentially acts as a levee for the town of New Hartford.

“Because of it’s position, it does act as a levee and right now it’s been holding back water since Sunday night and we do have one area we’re concerned about,” said Mitch Nordmeyer, emergency management coordinator for Butler County. “It’s shown some signs of stress. It hasn’t failed yet.”

The National Weather Service predicts the river at New Hartford will crest within the next four hours at 13.5 feet.

“Right now we are at our most critical point,” Nordmeyer said. “We are watching it real close.”

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Iowa Homeland Security representatives are on the ground in New Hartford to monitor the situation.

Earlier today, local officials issued a CodeRed notification to area residents, who should remain vigilant and be prepared for possibly additional flooding.

If Ridge Avenue is no longer able to hold back rising waters, the town would feel its impact.

“It would bring a lot of water towards town ... It’s probably going to create a problem but we don’t know how big a problem,” Nordmeyer said.

New Hartford extended their levy west of town after the floods of 2008 and so far, that structure is doing its job, Nordmeyer added.

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