Army Corps of Engineers to raise Iowa River output
IOWA CITY– Johnson County officials have signed a local disaster declaration and will ask for a State Disaster Declaration to be eligible for state assistance.
Supervisor Chairperson Terrence Neuzil and Emergency Management Coordinator Dave Wilson signed the documents Tuesday, July 1.
The Local Disaster Declaration states that Johnson County suffered from flooding that occurred on June 30. As a result, there is ongoing “severe damage to public and private property, disruption of utility service, and endangerment of health and safety of the citizens of Johnson County within the disaster area.” The declaration will need approval from Governor Terry Branstad’s office. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors has declared a state of emergency authorized under Iowa State Statue and will execute the expenditure of emergency funds from all available sources, and the invoking of mutual aid agreements. Local governments have been requested to track costs associated with the current flood event. Residents that are impacted are encouraged to visit the Johnson County website at johnson-county.com and fill out a damage assessment form.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE ) Rock Island District has notified Johnson County Emergency Management of the current water levels of the Coralville Lake Reservoir. Due to the amount of water from recent rains and close to record Iowa River levels in Marshalltown, which is a part of the Iowa River basin, as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jim Stiman from the USACE reported a projected crest of the Coralville Reservoir at 711.3 feet on July 11. The reservoir tops the spillway at 712 feet. Stiman said the Corps will gradually increase the outflow on the Iowa River from a current rate of 7,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) to an anticipated level of 10,000 CFS Tuesday with a gradual increase to 13,000 CFS on July 3 and 16,000 CFS will remain in effect until further notice. Those downstream from the Coralville Reservoir can monitor changes at www.rivergages.com.
With the river levels rising, residents and boaters should be reminded of the following:
• At 11,500 CFS output on the Iowa River, one or more lanes on Dubuque Street near Mayflower Residence Hall will be impacted. Lower Iowa City City Park will also be flooded. At this time, the University of Iowa is building a protected HESCO barrier wall around the dorm.
• At 15,000 CFS, output boating bans are implemented on the Iowa River below the reservoir dam.
In addition, as the Coralville Reservoir rises, many roads near the area will also be impacted and closed until the water recedes. As the pool on the Reservoir rises, residents should be aware of the following:
• At 702 feet, West Overlook campground and boat ramp close;
• At 708 feet, Mehaffey Bridge becomes difficult to pass for larger boats;
• At 711 feet all boat traffic on the Reservoir is suspended.
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is advising boaters planning for 4th of July festivities to please monitor and plan accordingly.
As of 3 a.m. Tuesday, July 1, Johnson County public safety agencies responded to a total of 74 water or flood related calls. These would include water over roadways, flooded streets or flooded residences. They also responded to 44 calls involving roads or streets blocked by trees or other storm related debris. The various Johnson County Fire Departments responded to seven water or flood related calls. They also responded to 26 calls involving downed power poles or sparking power lines. Fire and EMS responded to one call of a tree falling on a pedestrian, one call of a tree falling on an occupied car, and one call of a power line falling on an occupied vehicle. There are no current updates on conditions of individuals injured.
As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, Johnson County Secondary Roads has provided the following list of road closures:
• 140th Street east of Ely Road (at the ATV Park)
• Sand Road from 520th to HWY 22
• Otter Creek Road
• Sandy Beach Road (at the beach)
• Chambers between Amana Road and Knapp Creek Way
• Chambers south of 140th
• Buchanan north of 540th
• Orville Yoder Turnpike between Black Diamond and the bridge
• Black Diamond between Half Moon and Hazelwood
• Black Diamond west of Blackhawk
• Calkins south of Rohret
• Cosgrove Road at Old Man’s Creek
• Eagle Avenue south of Rohret
• Cosgrove Road at Rohret
• Blackhawk Avenue at Old Man’s Creek
Johnson County Conservation has closed Hills Access Park near the city of Hills and the River Junction Access in southern Johnson County due to the rising water and flood dangers of the Iowa River. These areas will remain closed until further notice.
Johnson County Public Health Department is advising residents to stay out of standing water as debris may be under submerged water. Other public safety measures can be found at johnson-county.com.
Johnson County rural unincorporated residents in need of sand bags can pick them up for free near the west gate at Johnson County Secondary Roads at 4810 Melrose Ave in western Iowa City.