Flood 1

Heavy rainfall caused the Winnebago River and Willow Creek to rise this week, which have both flooded into East Park, shown above.

MASON CITY | As a particularly harsh winter gives way to an already rainy meteorological spring, Mason City's Operation and Maintenance Department is offering free sandbags to residents who stop by its offices.

To prepare for possible flooding and high water, citizens can fill up the 200 empty bags available at the site located near 725 N. Massachusetts Ave. anytime of day but daytime is preferred.

That's according to Street and Park Maintenance Supervisor Bob Berggren who said that Mason City residents can call the Operation and Maintenance Department or the Street Department if bags are unavailable. 

"There is a pile of sand and a box full of sandbags. It depends on how many they want to fill. If more are needed, please call," Berggren said.

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In a Globe Gazette story about an increased risk for flooding from this past week, Emergency Management Coordinator Steve O'Neil said that the city has plenty of sandbags on hand and officials are reviewing FEMA floodplan maps but that their job still largely feels reactive.

"We do a lot of mitigative things (but) we’re not gonna stop the water," O'Neil said. 

The National Weather Service is forecasting a possible mix of rain and snow through Thursday night but this coming weekend will stay relatively clear.

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