Flood waters recede for now
The break in the rainy weather Sunday and Monday has helped county officials assess damage from flood-related situations.
Washington County Engineer Jacob Thorius said the roads that were closed last week—Poplar Boulevard, and Nutmeg and Orange avenues south of Kalona; Willow and 130th Street south of Riverside; and McKain’s River Access—are still closed.
“The water is off the road but nothing has reopened,” Thorius said. “We’re going to take a little time to repair the roads.”
To haul rock and repair the roads it costs the Washington County Engineering Department $16 a ton, Thorius said.
“Back in April we used 2,500 tons,” he said. “This time around we’ve used a little bit of rock on Poplar so far.”
Thorius hopes there aren’t any more heavy rains.
“It doesn’t need to be non-stop like the 3 – 5 inches of rain we’ve been having,” he said. “I would like to see things go back to a normal weather pattern where we’re just getting half an inch of rain at a time.”
Washington County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Smith has only received one report of flood damage this past week, Smith said.
“It’s from someone along the Iowa River [near Riverside],” Smith said. “They have been displaced for a little while and were checking with me to see what programs are available to help.”
Unlike the flood in April, Washington County hasn’t received a disaster declaration yet from Gov. Terry Brandstad, Smith said. There hasn’t been enough damage reported for state assistance.
Smith said he would like to hear from Washington County residents with any damage because this could help the county receive a disaster declaration like the one in April. If the county were declared a disaster the State IA (Individual Assistance) could become available to residents.
“This is the income-based program,” Smith said. “The people have to be 200 percent below poverty level.”
Smith also has an important tip for residents.
“Everybody needs to check with their insurance companies to see if they have flood or sewer backup insurance,” he said. “Often, if there isn’t a flood policy with the insurance company the flood damage won’t be covered.”