Monticello Battles the Maquoketa River

By Beth Malicki, Anchor/Reporter

Monticello residents (from left) Jeremy Boge, 18, and Dechone Jackson, 17, paddle though floodwaters on South Locust Street in Monticello this afternoon, Monday, June 9, 2008. The street runs near Kitty Creek, which usually flows into the Maquoketa River. (Jeff Raasch/The Gazette)

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By Becky Ogann

MONTICELLO - People in Monticello have to watch how much water they're using. The drinking water is safe, but using it is adding to flooding problems.

The Jones County Community will have to evacuate if the Maquoketa River rises any more.

Since 6:30 Monday morning the people of Monticello have been doing what they can to keep the Maquoketa River from over taking the town

"I think we're getting ahead of the game what can still be saved and hopefully within the next couple hours it will crest and start receding," said Mark Stoneking, Monticello Fire Chief.

Until this tide turns, the grandstands at the Jones County Fairgrounds look out into a pool, garages hold gallons of flood water instead of cars. And residents of a mobile home park are building a moat of sandbags.

"But then it's going to rain some more during the week so you know I don't know- I just didn't want to take the chance," said Duane Mesch, resident.

At the Monticello Sewer Plant the water is three feet high inside. The city is asking people to use as little water as possible because what goes down the drain gets added to what the Maquoketa has spilled over.

"We've got the main pumps running right now as long as the river doesn't come up any higher, hopefully we can keep them going otherwise once they go to where we can't run them we have to shut the whole town down," said Dana Edwards, Director of Public Works.

Now the the town is just waiting for the water to recede, because Monticello simply can't handle the alternative.

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