—by Todd Thorson
With Friday’s beautiful day to kick off the Memorial Day weekend, the customary "beginning of summer" started out on the "right foot". Unfortunately, the "left foot" was soon put firmly into the grasp of Mother Nature. Heavy rains and flooding washed out the rest of the holiday weekend, as 5 to 10 inches of rain fell on central and north-central Iowa in a three-day span. Monday did see a bit of a reprieve, but an overnight shower kept conditions saturated and damp as the new work week began on Tuesday. The forecast doesn’t look good either, with scattered thunderstorms a possibility each and every day through Saturday. It appears a drying out period will have to wait.
The Skunk River in the Story City South Park left its banks on Sunday, flooding the golf course, the North Park and the Little League diamond. Residents’ basements filled with water, as the two-year dry conditions became a thing of the past. Yards needed mowed, but finding the time between rains became difficult for many. Camping and outdoor activities were put on hold or weathered through the storm, depending on one’s dedication, and barbecues and bonfires were nearly non-existent.
In Roland, flood conditions appeared to be worse, as Bear Creek left its banks on Sunday, and various drain tiles were backing up throughout the community. By Sunday night, city crews had placed pumps in the manholes near the swimming pool and at the corner of Poplar and Linn to help relieve the sewer lines and to prevent sewer backups.
The 200 block of North Vine was closed, and residents were sandbagging the Roland Casey’s and Roland Service Station at Main and Maple.
Official rain fall amounts were hard to come by accurately, as various locations throughout the area had different readings. Over 5 inches was reported in Story City. Up north, there were reports of 10 inches of rainfall. Flash flood warnings were issued on Sunday for much of the central and northern part of the state into Tuesday, with watches posted until the end of the week. With more rain expected each day this week, it will be quite some time before dry conditions return to central Iowa. Here’s hoping and praying they do by next week for Scandinavian Days.