Cedar River Crests in Vinton

By Kelsey Kremer, Reporter

Trevor Stephens of Vinton picks up sandbags on Saturday morning, June 1, 2013 outside John's Tire Service in Vinton, located just down the street from the Cedar River. The river crested earlier and lower than predicted. (Kelsey Kremer/KCRG-TV9)

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By Aaron Hepker

VINTON, Iowa - HESCO barriers and sandbags lined buildings and homes along the Cedar River in Vinton Saturday, waiting for a flood that never came.

The Cedar River was predicted to crest in Vinton at 20.8 feet sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Instead, the river only rose to 18.74 feet before 7 a.m. on Saturday, then began to fall.

Businesses like John's Tire Service in Vinton promptly began removing sand bags from outside their building, while others say they will leave them up for a while.

"It will probably be a week or so before I even think about moving them," said Bob DuCharme of Vinton. "You never know what's going to happen with that river, a couple good rain storms and it's back up here again."

The City of Vinton is also waiting to remove the HESCO barriers that were installed around the Vinton Fire Station and Municipal Electric Utility buildings.

"They are going to be kept up for a while because June can tend to be rainy month," Andrew Lent, Vinton City Coordinator said. "This is our first time using the HESCOs, so we have to practice taking them down, seeing how easy they are to take down, and clean up the sand and everything."

Lent said the city is much more proactive and prepared when dealing with the threat of flooding after learning from 2008. Residents like DuCharme took extra steps to be ready for flooding.

Benton County Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Hansen said the flooding was basically a high water event.

"Really there wasn't anything major that came out of it other an a whole lot of preparation in the city of Vinton, because the forecast was higher than what we obtained," Hansen said.
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