Despite heavy rain, no threat of flooding in Ottumwa

Though water levels are higher than normal, there is no threat of flooding in Ottumwa.

With all the rain and storms that continue to pass through southeast Iowa, how are water levels in the Des Moines River holding up?

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Red Rocks Lake is currently at 752.5 feet, which is 10.5 feet above its normal elevation level. When it reaches 760 feet, or 18 feet above normal elevation, the Army Corps begins to regulate the outflow of the dam, which flows downstream to Ottumwa.

Right now, the forecast predicts Red Rocks Lake to reach that elevation on July 7. However, it's all about constantly monitoring the elevation.

"Like any forecast, whether it's meteorology, as far as rain coming down, or water control, forecasts are a good 24 hours out and from then, they decrease in accuracy," said Josh Conrad, Assistant Operations Manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "So we'll see what happens, but all the water control that's done is based on our regulation manuals."

Conrad said there was some flooding around the Centerville dam this weekend, but that is now under control. With the current forecast, he said there is no risk for flooding in Ottumwa.

When the lake and river reach high flood stages, there is also more debris in the water. So Conrad reminds anyone heading out on the water to be extra cautious and wear lifejackets when boating.