Ames Flooding, University basketball

August 11, 2010 by staff 

Ames Flooding, (AP) – DES MOINES, Iowa – A teenager died Wednesday when three car raging waters swept a road near Des Moines, and hundreds were forced to evacuate their homes as floods in Iowa beaten after three nights of rain.

In Ames, flooding a main breakwater contributed to forcing the city to cut off water to some 55,000 residents and was the site of Iowa State University basketball 4-5 feet of water.

Rivers and streams rose after storms dumped 2-4 inches of rain in central and eastern Iowa on Wednesday night, with 6 inches in places, the National Weather Service said. A snowy winter and wet spring and summer to “prepare the ground” for flooding, but the recent storms were the big problem, meteorologist Jim Lee.

“Most of this has been caused by the recent extreme rains, especially in back to back to back” he said.

Divers found the body of the girl, close to the cars submerged in the mud Creek about 2:20 pm more than 10 hours after his disappearance. Authorities said the fast-moving water hampered search efforts earlier in the day.

Polk County Deputy Keith Onley refused to identify the girl.

The cars were swept off the road between Altoona and Mitchellville at 4 am Rescue workers found 10 of the 11 passengers clinging to trees and hanging from the trees. Four were taken to hospital with injuries not life threatening.

Doug Phillips, a division chief with the Sheriff’s Office Polk County, said the stream is usually only 3 feet deep and 10 feet wide, but early Wednesday morning, “looked like a river. ”

In Ames, about 30 miles north of Des Moines, officials cut the water supply of the city at 2:30 pm Wednesday after a water main broke flooding below Squaw Creek. The break drained a water tower in the city, dropping the pressure in the distribution system and increase the possibility of the water system can become contaminated.

Authorities warned anyone who still had access to water to boil before drinking. Said repairs could take up to 24 hours.

Several hundred residents of Ames were evacuated from their homes after 3-5 inches of rain pushed Squaw Creek and Skunk River on its banks, said Fire Chief Clint Petersen. In some places the water rose to the windshields of cars.

The floor of the Hilton Coliseum, home of Iowa State basketball, was covered with up to 5 feet of water, school spokesman John McCarroll said. It was too early to tell how much damage has been done, he said.

Jack Trice stadium was still dry, surrounded by sandbags stacked had football players as a precaution.

But the parking lot between the two stadiums where the game tailgaters before the game, was flooded.

“I hope they get eliminated by the football season,” said student Sam Stonehocker.

In total, eight campus buildings had flood damage, said McCarroll.

The Iowa Department of Transportation closed Interstate 35 south of Ames and two lanes of U.S. Highway 30 the area were closed.

Elsewhere in Ames, Howe Welding and Metal Fab had several feet of water inside, although the owners had been sandbags throughout the night. Piper Wall, whose husband owns the business, said it was difficult to assess the damage while the water was maintained, but it seemed worse than in 1993, when much of the area was under water.

“It will be when all this comes out and all the mud left and machining tools and electrical stuff is not high enough,” said Wall. “In 1993, he was, and 150,000 and this year is higher.”

Downstream of Ames, the town of Colfax was almost cut by the increase of Skunk River. The roads were covered by water, and people used boats to help residents move to higher ground.

Colfax Mayor David Mast said he expected more than 200 houses were flooded, and some have already been flooded with about 4 feet of water. City officials had asked at least 300 residents in the area west of the city to move to higher ground, mast, he said.

After Heather Kern asked to leave at 12:30 am, rushed to move the possessions of the house she shared with her husband, two sons and three other relatives. When the sirens sound a few hours later, the family had to leave.

Kern basement was flooded and water is slow progress on the first floor with wastewater high in the backyard.

“I feel blessed to have our lives,” said Kern. “I do not know where we live or where we’re going to stay, but we have our lives.”

Colfax flooded in 1993 when the Skunk River reached a record high of over 21.5 meters, more than 4 feet above flood level. The River on Wednesday was 22.5 and still growing.

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