Elkader Prepares for Flooding as the Turkey River Rises

By Jill Kasparie, KCRG-TV9

ELKADER, Iowa - Several communities along the Turkey River in northeast Iowa are dealing with flooding.

As of 10:30 Thursday night, the National Weather Service said the Turkey River would crest in Elkader at 23.3 feet Friday afternoon.

The community has been watching the river closely.

Many businesses in Elkader sit right on the edge of the Turkey River. With rising water, some are building up their protection.

“[We] keep as much water out as we can. Whatever water goes in here, we got a pump in there and we’ll pump it back out into the river,” said Trevor Feickert.

Feickert said the water has been gradually rising all day. He helped a family member build a temporary wall to keep water out of the basement.

“We do what we can and let Mother Nature take its course,” Feickert said.

The city has hauled in a load of sand and has sandbags ready if anyone should need them.

City Administrator Jennifer Cowsert is monitoring the levels closely. In Elkader, however, they’re getting used to dealing with rising water.

“We’ve planned for it, and we hope we’re prepared and just hope we don’t get another event like 2008,” Cowsert said.

“This was flooded in ‘91, ‘93, ‘95, ‘99, 2004, 2008 and now again,” said Gene’s Place Owner, Gene Vigen.

Vigen said after dealing with the river so many times, he hardly keeps anything in the lower level of his business.

“We just watch the water go in and go back out,” Vigen said.

This community is keeping their eyes to the sky, knowing that with every rain drop river levels could continue rising. So, they’ll keep waiting to see what Mother Nature brings their way.

“I know the rain up north hasn’t got here yet,” Feickert said.

The river is expected to crest Friday afternoon, but of course that could change at any time.

l Comments: 319-398-8268; jill.kasparie@kcrg.com

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