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Officials take flood precautions

BY REBECCA MORIN | JULY 03, 2014 5:00 AM

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After Monday’s severe weather, several cities in eastern Iowa have been high alert because of rising floodwaters.

On Tuesday, Gov. Terry Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for Johnson County in response to flooding and severe weather.

As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the Coralville Reservoir water level stood at 702.94 feet, a rise of 2.16 feet in the previous 24 hours. Officials project  the water level to exceed the spillway’s 712-foot height as soon as July 9 or July 10, according to a Johnson County Emergency Management press release.

In 2008, the Reservoir went over the spillway by slightly more than 5 feet at the peak of the flood (June 15). As the Reservoir level rises, officials will raise water levels on the Iowa River. As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the river was at 22.06 feet in Iowa City. Flood stage is 22 feet.

Iowa City officials have completely closed North Dubuque Street from Foster Road to Park Road until further notice.

In addition, Iowa City officials also advise several residential and commercial neighborhoods to be on high alert, including Normandy Drive, Taft Speedway, Rocky Shore Drive, the lower point of Iowa Avenue, Stevens Drive, and South Gilbert.

Johnson County officials have issued mandatory evacuations for several neighborhoods, according to a Johnson County Emergency Management press release.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors issued mandatory evacuations for Izaak Walton Road Southeast, Camino Del Rio Southeast, Driftwood Lane Southeast, Ocean Boulevard Southeasxt, River Front Estates Northeast, Winter Eagle Road Southeast, River Bend Road Southeast, and Fountain Court Southeast.

Mandatory evacuations were also ordered for 6979 and 6951 Tri County Bridge Road, Lola Lane Southeast, and Sand Road South of 560th Street to Highway 22.

The electricity and natural gas will be turned off to the affected areas, the release said.

Neighborhoods are not the only places to be effected by the rising waters. The Johnson County Conservation has closed Hills Access Park.

Despite flood preparations throughout the county, city, and on campus, University of Iowa operations are normal.

No classes, camps, or events have been canceled.

However, there have been several closures and service changes.

Beckwith Boathouse, Mayflower Residence Hall, the east and west sidewalks along the Iowa River, the southbound lanes of Riverside Drive, the IMU south metered lot, and the Hancher footbridge have been closed.

Cambus services to Mayflower have been suspended.

A 12-foot HESCO barrier was installed around Mayflower, and a 4-foot HESCO barrier is being installed along the east and west banks of the Iowa River. There are also sandbags and HESCO placements being put in place at the Water Plant intake and around the Power Plant to the south.

Several Iowa City events have been modified by the flooding.

Some changes have been made to the Iowa City Jazz Festival because of this week’s rainfall.

Monday’s rainfall left the Pentacrest too waterlogged to house the festival’s Main Stage. The stage will be set up at the intersection of Dubuque Street and Iowa Avenue.

Because of the move, there have additional street closures downtown, including Dubuque Street from Washington to Jefferson Street, as well as an extra block of Iowa Avenue.

Iowa Avenue was originally scheduled to be closed from Dubuque to Clinton Street, but it will now be closed from Dubuque to Linn Street.

Street closures will begin earlier than scheduled, with some taking place as early as 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.


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