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      Flood levels settling down

      Water levels are settling down, and The Des Moines River in Ottumwa is expected to remain at flood stage into the evening hours.

      While flood warnings do remain in effect, the overall river level is lowering, giving some relief to residents who live bank side. Levels crested near 16 feet Thursday, but before noon Friday, levels were down around 15 feet, and experts are expecting even lower levels into Friday night and Saturday night. Overall, water levels are under control as piping operations continue with numerous pumps to move the heavy storm water out over the top of the levy. Tom Rodgers, Public Information Officer, said areas of Wapello County are still getting a lot of water in low-lying flood-prone areas.

      "We ask folks, especially those using the trail behind the levy, to be careful around those pumps and give those workers plenty of room," Rodgers said. City officials say residents that did take on water in their homes can pick up a flood clean-up kit, available free of cost at the Red Cross in Ottumwa.