JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa — A Johnson County official says nearly everyone in the county has felt the effects of recent flooding in some way.
“If it’s not a detour, it’s someone trying to use a sidewalk, anything close to the Iowa River has been impacted,” said Terrence Neuzil, county chairperson and emergency management spokesperson.
For two weeks drivers who normally use the flooded Dubuque St. have been forced to find alternate routes, costing them time and fuel. One business owner near the Coralville strip said she has to budget nearly an extra half-hour in the morning to get to work.
“It’s time consuming, I’m ready for it to be over,” said Dr. Bradi Arnold, owner of Family First Chiropractic.
Arnold said she’s seen a massive spike in traffic on First Ave. outside her office. Many drivers now use that route to access downtown Iowa City and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The area becomes especially congested during the morning and evening shift-changes at the hospital.
Federal officials were in Johnson County Wednesday to assess damage from the floodwaters, Neuzil said. County officials hope FEMA dollars can help with the recovery, but that process still is in the works.
Officials also lifted mandatory evacuation orders at two addresses on Izaak Walton Rd. SE, many other orders are expected to be lifted this weekend as the river begins to fall.
The Army Corps of Engineers at Coralville Lake have slowed the outflow to 15 thousand cubic feet of water per second. They plan to again reduce that number by the weekend as the lake continues to fall.
It’s still not clear how long Dubuque St. in Iowa City will remain closed, although officials are hoping to open two lanes sometime next week.