Updated at 7:45 p.m.
MASON CITY | The majestic Up in Smoke BBQ Bash SPAM Contest trophy is going back to Minnesota.
Hogline BBQ, of Owatonna, won the judges over with a SPAM hamberger filled with cheese, which Minnesotans call a Juicy Lucy, and Grain Belt beer-battered onion rings.
"We're from Owatonna, Minnesota -- we're from SPAM Country,"said Hogline team member Dustin Reese. "We put three practices on this to get this thing just right to make sure it was exactly what we wanted (and) representatieve of SPAM."
Bubba Q was second with SPAM tacos and jalapeno poppers. Dig In Cookers, of Ankeny, Iowa, was third with SPAM egg rolls.
"You've gotta put something good out and just hope that the judges like it because everybody's cooking some good stuff," said Hogline team member Jon Hanson.
Even though they weren't confident in a victory, Hogline knew before the contest that its juicy Lucy was the real deal.
"We tried it Wednesday night and the second time we were like yep, this is right," Jeff Hanson said.
Our earlier story:
MASON CITY | An enthusiastic crew helped Scott Nelson, of Rockwell, season Pig Skin Barbecue’s ribs on Friday.
“Because we like to eat the food for free,” explained his daughter, Valerie Nelson, 12.
Valerie and her sister, Chloe, and brother, Ben, 14, helped with whatever chores their father threw their way. A friend, Zoey Thompson, also lent a hand.
Their willingness not only helped the Mason City kids get free food -- they also got a up-close look at Friday morning’s flooding in East Park. Torrential rain caused flash flooding across North Iowa.
“When we were riding our bikes here the water in the river was really high at the bridge,” Valerie said. “We didn’t want to ride our bikes over the bridge so we took them up the steps.”
Ben was there when some teams, including Pig Skin, had to evacuate low-lying areas of the park for higher ground on the east side.
“There was hoards of people trying to get over here,” he said.
The youngest members of the Pig Skin BBQ prep some ribs pic.twitter.com/QTVFU4VU1F— Up In Smoke (@UpInSmokeBBQ) July 24, 2015
The weather made for extra work for the teams, but the Bash -- and Pig Skin -- went on as scheduled at East Park.
“We lived through it and we got set up for a second time,” Scott Nelson said.
The children liked helping with barbecue, but also had plans to check out some of the other activities at the Bash.
“We might help a little more, then probably go to the bouncy house and stuff,” Valerie said.
-- Molly Montag
Updated at 12:30 p.m.
MASON CITY | The Bash will go on.
In spite of heavy rains that forced the temporary evacuation of low-lying portions of East Park on Friday, the Up in Smoke BBQ Bash will go on as planned in East Park.
Teams in the lower areas of the park were relocated to higher ground on east side.
Competitor Rich Davis of The Q Crew was hard at work late Friday morning seasoning racks of ribs to sell to vendors later that afternoon.
Fans of the Bash like to eat. The Q Crew, of Waldorf, Minnesota, sells more food at the Bash than anywhere else.
The Q Crew's brisket is its best seller. The team typically goes through 300 pounds of brisket and some 50-60 racks of ribs at the Bash.
Davis was confident North Iowa's barbecue lovers wouldn't be put off by bad weather.
"We always get big crowds down here," said Davis, loading ribs into the smoker. "We've vended through rain and through heat and it doesn't seem to keep them away."
-- Molly Montag
Our previous story:
MASON CITY | Early morning rains led to a temporary evacuation of East Park Friday morning but the skies cleared and the 12th annual Up in Smoke BBQ Bash was scheduled to go on as usual.
County and local officials ordered the temporary evacuation as a precaution, said Cerro Gordo County Emergency Services Coordinator Steve O'Neill.
"It was raining hard, and we didn't want anyone to get trapped," he said.
"East Park was built on a flood plain as a way of absorbing heavy rain, and today it did its job."
EMC Steve O'Neil talks about the situation as flood waters rise in East Park pic.twitter.com/GQAQtY1Jpd
— Arian Schuessler (@ArianSchuessler) July 24, 2015
In Clear Lake, 10th Avenue North was closed by law enforcement due to at least 6 inches of water on the road.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Cerro Gordo County until 12:45 p.m. Friday, following morning thunderstorms that dropped as many as 3 inches of rain in an 80-minute period.
No injuries were reported.
The original warning was set to expire at 10:15 a.m., but heavy rain began falling again shortly after 8:30 a.m. in Mason City. It tapered by 10 a.m.
Officials said some areas could receive an additional 3 inches of rain.
Don't know how much rain has fallen, but there's standing water in parts of my yard that I've never seen underwater pic.twitter.com/qi3sUwcNkF— Molly Montag (@GGMollyM) July 24, 2015
The drenching storms were slowly moving southeast, but more were developing to the northwest. Officials were anticipating more storms developing in the same pattern Friday evening.
Areas that may experience flooding include Mason City, Clear Lake, Rockwell, Ventura, Thornton, Meservey, Swaledale and Thornton.
There are reports of stranded motorists in ditches between Mason City and Clear Lake.
"Ponding of water is likely, and the heavy rain may cause flooding," said an NWS release.
And that was the case shortly after the warning was issued.
By the police department. Flood warning until 10:15am. pic.twitter.com/kiQy7o0BFH— Mason City Police (@MasonCityPD) July 24, 2015
A car appeared to be trapped by water on Augusta Drive near the Mason City Country Club early this morning. Police were assisting.
The bike trail along Highway 106 was partially submerged near Eisenhower Avenue. Due to being under several feet of water, the Clear Lake trailhead is inaccessible.
In Clear Lake, 12th Avenue South and South 14th Streets were both nearly impassable, and the south side of the town also was impacted.
Officials anticipated flooding along small creeks and streams, in particular, from runoff. Highways and underpasses were also impacted.