The weekend rain and snow melt has some area rivers and streams spilling out of their banks. The Maquoketa River in Maquoketa was at major flood stage for most of the day Monday. In under two days the river rose nearly 19 feet.
On one side the swollen river easily spills into low-lying farm grounds. On the south banks the water threatens nearby homes, businesses, and the water plants. However, the water didn't rise far enough to cause any damage. But it did go up fast and the water is still high and moving very quickly.
Flood stage is 24 feet at Maquoketa and early Monday morning it reached 29.65 feet. At that level the water can affect industries on the North end of town. As the water quickly rose Sunday city crews made the call to close the flood gates to keep the river from backing up into the city. They did have to use several pumps to carry groundwater seepage back toward the river.
Also, just west of town at the Lakehurst Dam operators opened up about four of the six gates to keep upstream from rising overtop the embankment. Crews there have to keep a close eye on the levels too.
"We're able to handle it. We still have room to pass more water if the need were to arise. Luckily we don't," said Jason Kreuscher, P of Operations for Renewable World Energy.
For an idea of just how much additional water they're seeing near Maquoketa, on average about 1,000 cubic feet per second of water moves through that area, Monday it was at about 13,000 cubic feet of water per second.