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Northeast Iowa Expecting Lower Crest, Fewer Flood Problems

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Iowa- Northeast Iowa communities are still looking at rising water from the flash flooding on Thursdays. But they’re not as concerned as they were just 24 hours ago.

The Turkey River that flows through the communities of Elkader and Garber should crest Friday evening. And that crest should fall below the level that will do any real damage.

But that doesn’t mean the flash flooding didn’t leave a mark. In Fayette County, 40 roads and two bridges remained closed Friday morning and restoring travel especially on the gravel roads will be an expense.

Still, while everyone focused on the rising water, there was some other weather worries. The storm that brewed up Thursday afternoon destroyed a large machine shed south of Delaware in Delaware County. Other farm buildings were destroyed in other parts of that county too.

One emergency management official thinks it may have been a tornado. But the National Weather Service is not expected to send an inspection team to Delaware County.

Jim Meisgeier, who was storing some items in the building, said wild weather may just be the new normal in Iowa.

“You’ve got to watch out for things now, you can’t take the weather for granted, it’s very true,” Meisgeier said.

In Elkader, city workers stacked sandbags in low spots and parked trucks with more sand downtown. But crews weren’t expecting to need it.

Jim Klosterboer, a resident who remembers the big Elkader flood in 2008, said there’s really no comparison this time.

“This is a spectacle, but it’s not dangerous for those who know how to handle themselves around it,” Klosterboer said.

Of more concern in Fayette County was how to handle all the road repair issues. Road superintendent Jeff Koehn said no one knows how much it will cost yet. But hopes it wouldn’t be as bad as feared aren’t coming true as workers get a closer look.

“We were hoping not,” Koehn said but added “we keep finding more problems so that’s telling me it’s bigger than what we expect.”

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