Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2014

Rain overflows creek onto Kalona’s streets

By Travis J. Brown, The JOURNAL | Jun 15, 2010
Zanetta Hill, who lives at 205 B Avenue, holds her infant son, Wylde, as she surveys the flooding on B Avenue in Kalona on Tuesday afternoon. Heavy rains sent a small creek spilling out of its banks and into the streets around noon.

    KALONA — Holding her infant son, Wylde, Zanetta Hill stood on the sidewalk on B Avenue in Kalona. She called out to a city worker, who was standing ankle-deep in water in the street, and asked, “Do you know when the water will go down?”

    A flash flood hit the city of Kalona just before noon on Tuesday, and according to City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh, over four inches of rain fell in less than an hour and a half.

    “It just happened in the last hour,” said Hill, who lives at 205 B Ave. “We were upstairs, and when we came downstairs, our yard was full of water.”

    The deluge of rain sent a small creek that runs through Kalona out of its banks and turned Hill’s driveway, which is about 100 feet west of the creek, into a small river.

    “It’s a little tributary,” said Hill’s husband, Andy.

    “It’s dumping into the back of our yard and coming out the front of our yard,” Zanetta added. “And it’s filling our garage as it goes. Our garage is flooded. And our car is up in our yard. If it was in our driveway it would be surrounded by water because our driveway is a nice little river.”

    The small creek, which Schlabaugh called the West Ditch, overflowed onto A, B and C Avenues and prompted street closures. The Hills said it was very unusual to see water in the creek, let alone to see it spilling out into the streets.

    “It’s usually stagnant and not even a trickle,” Andy said.

    “I’ve never seen it like this, and we went through the floods a couple years ago,” Zanetta added. “Those spring floods never got this bad.”

For more, see our June 16 print edition.

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