Communities in southeast Iowa brace for flooding

Communities in southeast Iowa are bracing for potential flooding from the Mississippi River.

The National Weather Service says the Mississippi River at Burlington was at 21.69 feet Thursday and rising. It is expected to crest Saturday at 24 feet.

State officials have issued disaster declarations for both Des Moines and Lee counties to free up resources to combat possible damage. The Burlington Hawk Eye reports volunteers spent Tuesday and Wednesday filling sandbags and preparing other protections.

Officials in Fort Madison say the disaster declaration will help them get more sandbags and equipment. Small communities including Wever and Montrose have also responded by placing sandbags.

On the Mississippi River at Keokuk, water levels were at 19.48 feet Thursday and rising. It is expected to crest Sunday at 23 feet.