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River to crest today

By Staff | Mar 24, 2011

The flooding of North Riverside (above), Mickelson and Joye Hoye Parks along the West Fork of the Des Moines River has been a common occurrence the last couple years. EDN photo by Tessa Petersen

The Des Moines west fork is expected to crest at 12 feet 2 inches sometime today, according to Emmet County Emergency Management Coordinator Terry Reekers.

Reekers said the river will not be high enough to require closing West South First Street but should flood well into the park – something it did both a year ago last spring and again last fall.

Reekers said the west fork was at 11 feet 1 p.m. Wednesday and is expected to come up another foot and a half.

With the Des Moines River basin saturated, Reekers said any added moisture will just run off into the river.

“I think we’ll be high for several days,” Reekers said. “I look for the river to stay high for a week.”

“At 12 and a half feet we should be in pretty good shape for the weekend,” Reekers said.

Reekers said residents on Valley Drive have been keeping a close eye on School Creek which backs up when there’s high water on the Des Moines.

The only major concern would be heavy sustained rains, said Reekers, especially considering that the river was high all winter.

“We don’t have a lot of cushion to play with,” said Reekers.

Flood stage is seven feet – a measurement taken by instruments housed in a building just east of the city pool. Reekers said anyone who would like to keep tabs on flood levels can go online to rivergages.com which is updated every hour.

Reekers, who was attending a conference in Des Moines this week, thanks the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office and Estherville Police Department for helping monitor flood levels.