Rock Rapids, Iowa — The floodwaters of the Rock River have crested and are on the way back down.
According to the National Weather Service, the Rock River crested in Rock Rapids in the early hours of Saturday, September 14th at 21.54 feet. The current prediction is for the waters to fall below flood stage on Sunday afternoon, September 15th.
Officials with the Rock Rapids Chamber of Commerce say that it appears the town has been spared of any significant damage.
Meanwhile, the waters are still on the rise in Rock Valley. The National Weather Service says the waters will crest at 17.8 feet overnight early Sunday. That stage is not classified as “major” flooding, but only “moderate.” Rock Valley City officials say they are ready. Berms are still in place from the May flooding.
Original story posted Sep 13, 2019 at 2:26 p.m.:
Rock Rapids, Iowa — According to the National Weather Service, the prediction is for the flood that’s coming down the Rock River to Rock Rapids to be the third-worst since their gauge went up. (For clarification purposes, the gauge had not yet been installed when the 1993 flood happened.)
Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase says sandbags are available for anyone who wants or needs them at the Public Works Building, north of the Utilities Office on South Third Avenue.
According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office on Friday afternoon, “The National Weather Service is projecting the Rock River in Rock Rapids to crest at 22.8 feet, which is approximately 4ft lower than in 2014. If you live along the river or any of its tributaries you can expect flooding. Hopefully, we don’t get any additional substantial precipitation north of us. If you encounter water over the road in any places do not drive through it.”
Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase gives us an update as of noon Friday.
He gives us an idea of the City’s plan.
Mayor Chase says Rock Rapids was able to complete a major mitigation project after the 2014 flood that amounted to over $6 million. He says that project removed a majority of the flood-prone housing stock in Rock Rapids, making the town much less susceptible to flood damage.
Rock Rapids’ Island Park always gets hit the worst by flooding, as the river goes right through the park.
From Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities and the City of Rock Rapids: “We are continuing to monitor the Rock River levels and forecast. The river is expected to crest at 22.8” at 7:00 AM September 14. We will alert all public if there are any changes to this forecast or in case of emergency. For reference, the river crested at 27 feet during the flood in 2014.”
They go on to give these details:
*Island Park & Campground has been evacuated and the cabins have been removed. All cars need to be removed from the pool parking lot as soon as possible.
*Westside park is still open for camping at this time. This may change as water levels rise, we will be providing updates as situations change.
*Reminder to all residents that the trail system may be affected by flood waters and to use extreme caution.
*Residents are encouraged to monitor their sump pumps and basements. Remember sump pumps need to be pumped to the street and NOT into the sewer system.
*Barricades are up at different areas around town. Please use caution when driving and DO NOT drive around barricades.
* Sand and sandbags are available at the Public Works shop. Residents are responsible for filling/transporting their own sandbags as needed. No volunteers are required at this time.
Here is some similar info from the City of Rock VALLEY: