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Flooding in Fayette County Closes Roads, Campgrounds

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FAYETTE COUNTY, Iowa- Authorities in northeast Iowa closed water-covered roads and persuaded campers to move away from the rivers as flash flooding made life difficult for many.

Michael Foland, emergency management director for the county, said high water forced road crews to close as many as 50 roads for at least part of the day on Thursday.

Rescuers also responded to at least two water rescue calls during the day.

Foland said the first happened just before 4:30 p.m. when authorities were called to rescue two people stuck in a car west of Fayette on Highway 93. The two were successfully pulled from the water. In the same area, first responders also removed a woman and several pets from a home threatened by the water.

Just before 5:30 p.m., authorities got word of another car in the water on Pilot Road north of Hawkeye.

Crews found the car, but the driver had gotten out by himself and didn’t need assistance. Authorities have not released names of any of the people involved.

Earlier in the day, the only drama was whether or not campers would need to move vehicles from parks close to the river.

Gilbertson Nature Area ranger Matt Ellis was watching the river Thursday morning in Elgin, but was unsure if he’d have to tell people to move.

“No not at this point,” Ellis said, adding “it’s the moderate spring flooding we get every year.”

Some of the campers parked in Elgin weren’t worried either. But Scott Iverson, who had come to the park for a reunion, said campers were ready to go quickly.

“We could be out of here in ten to 15 minutes and actually a couple of guys have already hooked up,” Iverson said.

And eventually word came to move away from the park areas near the Turkey River, both at a county park in Elgin and a private RV facility in Clermont.

Logan Myoll, who was working in Oelwein, said he got a frantic call to come to Clermont to move the family camper.

“My dad called me at work and I had to tell my boss it was an emergency so I was able to come here,” he said.

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