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Floodwaters return to Winneshiek County

Posted: Sun, Jun 10, 2018 12:58 PM
"Houston, we have a problem!" The flood gauge in Decorah catches several tree branches (Photos by's Paul Scott)

Heavy rains on Saturday night caused the Upper Iowa River and Turkey River to flood its banks, but the flooding was minor and did not affect buildings.

Kendallville Park was evacuated on Saturday night, as were several private campgrounds.  It was a wise precaution, as floodwaters hit just over the 14.0 foot flood stage in Bluffton, but started falling during the overnight.

In Decorah, the river stage got above 11 feet, but didn't hit the 12 foot flood level.  However, downstream at Dorchester the Upper Iowa River is predicted to hit 18 feet, which would qualify as "moderate flooding."

The National Weather Service La Crosse Office says rivers and streams will continue to rise across portions of southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa through Sunday night due to recent heavy rainfall and minor to moderate flooding will continue along some rivers into early next week--especially if more rain falls.

While Decorah's river level of 11 feet caused a lot of minor flooding, it was nowhere near the 13.68 foot crest on August 24th of 2016, the 14.35 foot crest on August 17th of 1993, nor the 17.90 foot crest on June 9th of 2008.

Flood waters were high enough to enter the Decorah Prairie Park (Click for larger images)
The flood also closed the bike trail
A pump was hard at work along Valley View Drive
Water rolled over Fifth Avenue and onto the soccer fields