16.3 foot crest expected on Des Moines River

Due to heavy rain, the Des Moines River is on the rise and some isolated flooding is occurring. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting a river crest near 16.3 feet in Ottumwa late Thursday afternoon. Owners of bank side property in Wapello County prone to seasonal flooding should take appropriate action as needed. Official flood stage at the Ottumwa river gauge is 11 feet. The City of Ottumwa is protected by a levee designed to withstand river stages up to 25 feet.

The entrance to the Beach Ottumwa and Sycamore park has been closed to traffic due to additional stormwater pumps being placed in the area to move the additional runoff from the oxbow lagoon.

Motorists are advised that if they do encounter floodwater covering the roadway, they should not attempt to drive through the water. The depth may be too great to allow vehicles to cross safely. High water levels can be very swift and turbulent. All individuals are advised to stay away from the river until water levels recede.

Residents are encouraged to always watch the river levels and monitor the local media or their NOAA Weather Radio for the latest weather advisories from the National Weather Service. Up to date information about the river level can be found online at the United States Army Corps of Engineers website

For a list of Wapello County road closures click here.