Flooding threatens Historic Bridge Weekend

Hale Bridge near Anamosa in Jones County. Photo taken in 2010

Record Flooding Expected in Jones, Delaware and Linn Counties. Anamosa already flooded. County Fairs already cancelled.

Of all the weather-related abnormalities that we have been facing this year- late spring, drought, and unusually high number of tornadoes, the abnormality we’ve been facing the most this year has been flooding. And the one area that definitely does not need any more water now is the northern half of the United States.

This includes the State of Iowa, which is bracing itself for another record flood.

Heavy rains have caused some flooding in many parts of the state so far this summer, but the primary concern at the moment is the eastern portion of the state. There, the counties of Jones, Linn, Delaware, Allamakee, and Buchanan are bracing themselves for record floods, a first in five years in many areas.  Especially hardest hit will be the areas along the Wapsipinicon River, in places like Anamosa, Central City, Paris, Independence and Manchester, where the river has already flown over its banks and the levels are rising faster than the city can keep up with the sandbagging efforts. Already, parts of Central City and Anamosa are under water and with record crests expected, people are trying to minimize the damage as much as they can, including the ones in the vicinity of Anamosa, who had previously experienced record flooding in 2008. Already these counties have cancelled their annual fair and livestock exhibits but the cancellation of more events appear more likely as the river rises.

Historic Bridge Weekend to be relocated:

The unfortunate part about the flooding along the Wapsipinicon River and some other areas in the east central part of Iowa is that these areas are highly populated with historic bridges, including the ones in Jones County, where six bridges built in 1920 and earlier span the river. This includes the Hale, Anamosa City and Shaw Road Bridges located four miles from each other. Although these bridges are on the places to visit list for the Historic Bridge Weekend in August (even though that may change), the primary concern at the moment is the venue for Friday night. As mentioned in the announcement, the Dedication Dinner honoring James Hippen for his work on historic bridges was scheduled to take place at the Stone City General Store and Restaurant west of Anamosa on Friday night, August 9th beginning at 6:30pm.  The event is on as scheduled, but a new venue is most likely needed for according to reports, the General Store, located right next to the river, is expected to be flooded. A back-up plan is in the works and an update will be provided as soon as a venue is found. Please note that the time may change with the venue, so please plan accordingly when coming to the Friday night event.  Other changes in the schedule are expected, especially when reports come in on the damages from the flooding to not only the Anamosa area and those along the Wapsipinicon River, but also to the bridges affected by the floods.

If you have a venue that you think would be best suitable for the Friday night portion of the Historic Bridge Weekend, please contact Jason Smith at the Chronicles at flensburg.bridgehunter.av@googlemail.com.  The venue of the event must be in the northeastern corner of the state in the vicinity of Dubuque, Delaware, Linn and Jones Counties, but NOT in the areas affected by the flooding.

Links to the flood update are found here:







Red Bridge in Jasper County in visier of the Historic Bridge Weekend:

While out of tour range, a pair of Jasper County bridges are on the list of bridges to visit for this year’s Historic Bridge Weekend given their proximity to Marion County, the site of the Sunday matinee at Red Rock Visitor’s Center and evening dinner in Pella. The Red Bridge and the 126th Avenue Bridge are both located over the South Skunk River, approximately five river miles from each other. The former was built in 1892 by H.S. Efnor, a local contractor, and features a Warren through truss bridge similar to the Dietzenbach Bottom Bridge in Fayette County, but with a Pratt pony truss approach span. The latter was built by George E. King in 1899 and is a Pratt through truss bridge. Both bridges are closed to traffic and are scheduled to be demolished. However, a group is trying to save the Red Bridge from being scrapped. The bridge has been closed to traffic for over 10 years and part of the structure has collapsed because of flooding. The group, which you can view the page here, wants to save the bridge and reuse it for recreational purposes.

One thought on “Flooding threatens Historic Bridge Weekend

  1. Well I just wish people would quit with the “extreme” weather meme. For example, we have not, as you say, had an unusual “high number of tornadoes”, in fact 2012 – 2013 in the US we have experienced lower numbers: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/lingering-chill-suppressing-to/11914602 and the graph here http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/adj.html (with explanation) says more.

    But at least you didn’t blame the fate of historic bridges on the dubious: “human caused climate change”.

    Otherwise I like your blog


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