Flooding update: Eastern Iowa

High water at Anamosa Bridge with broken branch stuck at the railings. Following photos courtesy of Quinn Phelan

River crest much lower than expected; Stone City and Anamosa spared damage, among many river towns; Historic Bridge Weekend on as scheduled

Residents in eastern Iowa are breathing a huge sigh of relief as many communities along major rivers avoided the worst- record flooding. The hardest hit area was along the Wapsipinicon River, where many residents in communities like Independence, Anamosa and others were sandbagging and constructing dikes feverishly to protect their houses and businesses and bracing for the river that was expected to crest at record highs last seen in the Great Flood of five years ago. Yet it never happened. While the river crested in Independence, it caused little to no damage to the community. While the river was expected to set records in Anamosa (which would have been up to a foot higher than the record of 26 feet set in 2008), it only reached 21 feet on Friday. While many roads were closed to traffic and some bridges over small creeks washed out, the region survived what would have been flooding of biblical proportions had the predictions of 27 foot crests come true.

For Anamosa and Stonc City, with its half a dozen historic bridges located within a five mile radius of each other, according to recent reports, they were spared the flooding as they only received minimal damage and will most likely be repaired and reopened very soon. This will be a blessing for many bridge enthusiasts who will be passing through Anamosa for the Historic Bridge Weekend on August 9th and 10th, visiting and photographing the structures along the way.  Because the flood waters did not reach the building, the Stone City General Store and Restaurant was also spared flood damage and is open to the public. The Friday night portion of the Historic Bridge Weekend is on as scheduled. The dedication dinner honoring James Hippen will take place August 9th beginning at 6:30 at the restaurant. Everything else for the 4-day long event August 9-12, 2013 is on as scheduled.

Note: Don’t forget that registration for the 4-day event is due July 15th. Please contact Jason D. Smith at the Chronicles at: flensburg.bridgehunter.av@googlemail.com to obtain a registration form to fill out and return. You can also register through the Chronicles’ facebook page.

Here are some photos of the flooding taken by Quinn Phelan taken as the Wapsipinicon River was dropping at an enormous rate in Anamosa. A couple videos will be posted very soon on the facebook page of the Chronicles:


Flood waters cover the entrance of Wapsipinicon State Park at Anamosa
The Wapsipinicon River at Shaw Road Bridge


Information on the flooding can be found here as well.  Ironically, one of the bridges affected by the flooding, the Hale Bowstring Arch Bridge, was the site of an evening dinner that took place prior to the flooding. More information is found here.

This is the first of three in the series on the flooding situation in the US, Canada and Europe, which has been the central theme this past month. The next installment will focus on the flooding in Germany and parts of Europe and the impact it had on the livelihood of people affected and the bridges involved.