Will the flooding dampen your plans for Labor Day? Take a look at these interactive maps from the Iowa Flood Center
(KWWL) – It has been over a year since George Wyth State Park experienced significant flooding. The park closed on Sunday as the Cedar River quickly picked up from heavy weekend rains.
The Cedar River reached its peak around noon Tuesday after causing minor flooding in the park and also in Cedar Falls. The floodwaters were relatively contained in the tourist park just east of downtown. After the ridge, the level of the river should drop quite quickly.
Park manager Lori Eberhard of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said they would open no later than Friday. It really depends on how quickly things dry out. Rain is forecast but nothing to do with what eastern Iowa saw at the end of last week.
Still, Eberhard expects some cleaning up of any remaining debris once the floodwaters recede.
“Just look at the river, there’s a lot going downhill. So we’ll be contacting our reservations with the campsite this week,” Eberhard said.
She says Labor Day should be okay this year, but warns not everything will necessarily be open.
“The trails are still underwater and there will be a number that will still be underwater for a few days, maybe even over the weekend,” Eberhard said. “So when there are signs, when there are barriers, and it says ‘do not pass.’ Please don’t go that way.
Despite a person’s skill level on the trails, Eberhard says if you have a hard time accessing them, so can first responders.
Much of the region faced drought conditions as heavy rains were infrequent.
“It takes a big event like the one we had last week to really prime the system in a flood,” said Nathan Young, associate director of the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa.
The center started in 2010 and works to provide detailed forecasts of flooding in eastern Iowa. The interactive maps of the Central Iowa Flood Information System allow users to apply a certain set of circumstances that simulate the intensity of a flood.
“Learn about their flood risks and make informed decisions about how to deal with them, both during flooding and in the future,” Young said.
The Cedar River is expected to peak in several communities in southern Black Hawk County for the remainder of the week. Young said it would take several major rainy events to breach the state’s dry conditions.
“Usually our flood season is June, around this time, and we’ve had major flooding in the late fall and early spring, rainfall-induced flooding which is very atypical,” Young said.
See these maps of the Iowa Flood Center here.