Officials: Area water problems mild

The water level in the Des Moines River at Fort Dodge dropped slightly Tuesday, and no significant flooding was reported in the area.

But the threat may not be over because the river is expected to crest at noon today in Fort Dodge at a level considered to be above flood stage.

Tony Jorgensen, the Webster County emergency management coordinator, said Tuesday evening that the most recent projections showed that the river level at a gage in the city would crest at 12 feet. He said flood stage is is considered 10.5 feet.

On Tuesday evening, the river level at that gage was 11.8 feet, down from 11.9 feet earlier in the day.

Despite the high water, flood damage in Webster County appeared to be limited to some rural roads, mostly in the southeastern part of the county.

Assistant County Engineer Jamie Johll said parts of North River Road, McGuire Bend Road, Xavier Avenue and 340th Street were closed due to water over the road surfaces. He added that a culvert near Otho Cemetery was washed out.

Lehigh is especially vulnerable to flooding, but Jorgensen said conditions there weren’t as bad as he had expected Tuesday. He said one home close to the bridge that spans the Des Moines River had water in its backyard.

Anticipating the worst, authorities had stockpiled about 1,000 sandbags in Lehigh, but none have been used yet.

Flooded basements were reported in some surrounding counties.

Kerrie Hull, the emergency management coordinator in Calhoun County, said she had received reports of water in basements. No roads were closed due to water problems in that county.

In Kossuth County, Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Kelly reported no major problems. He said there was some basement flooding, and a few rural roads were blocked by water.