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10-Inch Rain Floods Already Soaked Ground

By Staff | Jun 29, 2010

An old tree on Lakeshore Drive was uprooted during the Friday night storm. Wind gusts were estimated at 65 to 70 miles per hour throughout Northwest Iowa. An area along Lakeshore Drive through Soper Park was particularly hard hit with tree damage. --Jane Whitmore photo

More than a foot of rain in one week caused water damage throughout Palo Alto County.

Over three inches of rain fell last Tuesday, June 22. Estimates of four to six inches of rain and strong winds blew through Palo Alto County Friday night, June 25. Even more rain, estimated up to five inches, fell Saturday night, June 26.

“We were one of the hardest hit in the state, as far as rainfall,” said Mark Hunefeld, Emergency Management Director for Palo Alto County.

Winds were estimated at 65 to 70 miles per hour throughout the area. Emmetsburg sustained major tree damage, especially along Lakeshore Drive. Large, old trees were toppled and others split in half.

Five Island Lake rose several inches over the weekend. Water at the south beach was nearly up to the benches, in front of the retaining wall, on Monday.

Nearly the entire town of Cylinder was flooded. Kevin Long’s children took advantage of a flooded Cylinder Park and paddled their boat around the newly formed pond. Fortunately, there is no rain forecast for this week. -- Marsha Duhn photo

Cylinder looked like a lake with rain water flooding a good portion of the town. Pumping began Saturday and continued into Monday. The water was being pumped out to a field by Cylinder Creek west of town, according to Hunefeld. He noted that the west part of town was hit particularly hard.

“We have some flood kits with cleaning supplies available to county residents,” said Hunefeld.

The flood kits are available from Hunefeld or by contacting City Hall in each community. More flood kits have been ordered.


Hunefeld has filed a request for public assistance.

“If the county qualifies for assistance, this would assist the county and cities by provide state funding for roads, bridges and infrastructure throughout the county,” said Hunefeld.

Hunefeld noted that he should know in a few days if Palo Alto County qualified to receive a Governor’s Proclamation for public assistance.

River Flooding

The National Weather Service out of Des Moines has flood warning continuing for the West Fork of the Des Moines River at Emmetsburg, or from near Graettinger to Cylinder Creek near West Bend.

Monday morning the river stage was 10.1 feet. Flood stage is 10 feet. Minor flooding is occurring and is forecast to continue.

“We’re at flood stage right now,” said Hunefeld, “and the river is holding better than it did earlier this spring. We should crest at a moderate level on June 29. The ditches and fields are not draining. There is just no place for the water to go.”

Flooding occurred on the Emmetsburg and West Bend golf courses, too. There were carp on the fairways in Emmetsburg and nearly all of the West Bend course was under water.