Officials keep wary eye on river

Local emergency officials were keeping an eye on the level of the Des Moines River Monday, after a rainy weekend that filled roadside and drainage ditches with water.

Lehigh Fire Chief Kirk Kelley said about 1,000 sandbags were stockpiled in that flood-prone community.

He said water was inching up the boat ramp there.

”Right now it’s not a problem,” he said.

Tony Jorgensen, the Webster County emergency management coordinator, said the river gage at Fort Dodge recorded 10. 2 feet as of midday Monday. Flooding generally happens when the water level at the gage is 12 feet or more, he said.

The road through Dolliver Memorial State Park was closed. Webster County road crews had positioned barricades near several gravel roads in case they have to be closed due to high water.

Jorgensen said people need to be very careful around creeks and drainage ditches because of high water.

He added that no one should try to drive through a flooded road.

”That’s very dangerous,” he said. ”It takes very little flowing water to sweep a vehicle away.”