River crests, but officials urge caution

Water levels in the Des Moines River have started to recede after hitting its crest Friday.

Data from the National Weather Service indicated that the river was at 14.6 feet, which is 4.6 feet above the flood stage.

Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody said the river appears to have crested and water levels will are expected to recede.

However, all the street and facility closures that were announced earlier in the week will remain in place, according to Carmody.

At the same time, no additional streets or facilities will be closed because of the water levels decreasing.

It was initially believed a storm that passed through Fort Dodge on Thursday would have an impact on the water levels, according to Fort Dodge City Manager David Fierke.

“We don’t know how much water’s going to get dropped in the Des Moines River,” he said Thursday. “We’ll keep monitoring the National Weather Service’s projection and adjust accordingly.”

City officials stressed the importance of not allowing children to play in flooded waters.

“It’s incredibly dangerous,” Fierke said. “We’re concerned that they’re playing in the water.”

To help relieve pressure on the levees, Fierke said the remaining operable gates at the Hydro-Electric Dam were opened.

He added that no city systems, including drinking water and the sanitary sewer system, have been impacted.

The DNR announced Thursday afternoon that the main road through Dolliver Memorial State Park was closed because of flooding. The campground and family cabins have also been closed due to rising waters.

The main road is expected to remain closed through the weekend.

At Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, the equestrian and bike trails have been temporarily closed, however 12-Mile Lake Trail remains open, the DNR said.