Subscribe for 17¢ / day

MARBLE ROCK | In addition to battling severe flooding, some North Iowa residents were affected by tornadoes or straight-line winds.

Officials received reports of possible tornadoes three miles southwest of Rockford, four miles west of Greene, two miles west of Nashua, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Fowle.

Buildings were destroyed and large sheets of tin and other debris were blown across the road at a farmstead just southeast of Marble Rock.

Due to near historic flooding, meteorologists have not been able to confirm the tornadoes or determine whether the winds were tornadic or straight-line.

Meteorologists may at some point use photos of damage and interview locals to make a determination, Fowle said.

“At this point we’re not sure we just calling it wind damage,” he said.

Seventy-mile-per-hour wind gusts were reported in Floyd County.

Check back at for updates on this developing story.

Our earlier story:

CHARLES CITY | Officials expect the Cedar River to crest at 24.2 feet in Charles City, just shy of the 2008 record of 25.3 feet. They characterized the situation as "a major flood event for many parts of Floyd County."

Sandbagging efforts continue in the Charles City Hy-Vee parking lot. There is a limit of 100 bags.

Travel is not advised in the county, and officials urged it only to avoid flood waters.

No evacuations are currently in place.

Officials said more than 100 homes on the north side of Charles City reported sewer backups. They asked residents to limit water and sewer use until further notice.

Floyd County residents are asked to report damage at 641-257-6300.

NORA SPRINGS | The Shell Rock River was running over a half of a levee, but had not - as rumored - breached the levee.

CHARLES CITY | Sandbagging efforts have begin in Charles City, and officials are welcoming assistance.

Volunteers are bagging at the Hy-Vee parking lot. Bring a shovel. City and county residents and businesses are allowed up to 100 bags.

MASON CITY | Mercy's clinics in Greene and Rockford will be closed Thursday and Friday, due to the flooding.

The Humane Society of North Iowa said it is closed Thursday due to flooded roads. 

Shelter staff say the building, which is at a higher elevation, is safe. Staff are caring for animals and are prepared to spend the night. 

FOREST CITY | Water covered large areas of Pammel Park.

To the south in Hancock County, officials said they received reports of a few downed trees but no other damage.

CHARLES CITY | Officials were anticipating near-record water levels on the Cedar River.

The latest projections place the river cresting on Friday morning at more than 24 feet. The record is 25 feet, 3 inches.

Flood warnings scattered the area, as more rain was in the forecast for later today.

The other - focused on the Winnebago River - runs through Sunday morning. It covered the stretch from Beaver Creek near Fertile, through Mason City and to the Shell Rock near Rockford. Officials expected the river to crest at 14.2 feet - 4.2 feet above flood stage - after midnight tonight. Officials expected the water to flow over city dikes.

The Cedar River in Osage was at a normal 17.7 feet Thursday morning, but the National Weather Service expected it to crest Friday morning at 27.4 feet - about 2 feet above its record.

OSAGE | Mitchell County has not ordered evacuations so far. There has been some water over the roads, according to the dispatcher. Some gravel roads are closed but no state highways or major roads are closed at this time.

Worth County is in the process of checking roads for flooding. Three road closures have been issued: 340th Street between Partridge Avenue and Highway 65; Grouse Avenue by 390th Street; and 460th Street by Mallard Avenue. That dispatcher said they are just beginning to receive reports.

GREENE | Downtown was flooded and residents were emptying houses after significant flooding threatened structures in the community.

Owners of Steeres Cafe were emptying appliances. Next door, a wall of sandbags was protecting a flower shop and other businesses.

Residents said the flooding wasn't as bad as in 2008 - yet. Streets were blocked throughout town.

It took a Floyd County dispatcher five minutes to list the closed roads in the county.

Gravel roads were badly eroded and others were significantly damaged.

Southeast of Marble Rock on Kirkwood Avenue, apparent tornado damage destroyed some buildings. Large scraps of tin were strewn on a field and trees were on the road.

CHARLES CITY | Authorities are urging residents not to travel until daylight in Floyd County as many roads are impassable due to flooding. 

A flash flood warning is in effect for county until 8:15 a.m. 

The National Weather Service reported that, as of 5 a.m., Fayette, Chickasaw and northeastern Floyd had received 2-3 inches of rain in the past two hours.

That volume of water was once again expected to push area creeks and streams even higher.

Flooding of homes was reported in Nashua, forecasters said.

Authorities in Charles City expected the Cedar River to crest at 22.5 feet, even higher than originally anticipated, on Friday morning.

Police say this will impact several homes and businesses.

Check back at for updates on this developing story.

Our earlier story:

MASON CITY — Officials were bracing Wednesday for what could be significant flooding of low-lying areas around some North Iowa lakes and streams.

Widespread heavy rain over already saturated ground was expected to cause local rivers to reach flood stage, including the Winnebago River in Mason City and the Cedar River in Charles City.

In Charles City, firefighters began going door-to-door on Wednesday to warn residents in flood-prone areas that evacuations could be necessary.

Fire Chief Eric Whipple said the Cedar River is expected to crest at 20.7 feet in Charles City, which is at major flood stage, sometime Friday afternoon.

According to the Floyd County Sherriff's Department, water was reported over numerous roadways throughout the county Wednesday night. Water was reported at mile markers 223 and 225 on the Avenue of the Saints. 

Floyd County was urging travelers against travel unless necessary. 

Other rivers and small streams also were expected to be severely impacted by the rain.

Forecasters anticipate 3-4 inches could fall across Mitchell, Floyd, Howard, Chickasaw, Winnebago and portions of Cerro Gordo counties through Saturday.

More is possible in areas hit by thunderstorms. 

In Mason City, the Winnebago River is expected to crest at 14.7 feet early Thursday.

At that level, much of East Park should be filled with water and the floodwaters will be at the top of the earthen berm built on the east side of the Winnebago River, said Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve O’Neil.

The berm runs from the bridge at 12th Street Northeast down to the park.

Officials don’t expect homes to be damaged by the floodwaters, because residences in the most flood-prone areas around the park were removed after the flood of 2008, O'Neil said.

“It’s one of those things where I’m not foreseeing we’re going to have homes jeopardized, but I always want to be ready, he said.

Officials in Charles City aren’t so sure.

In addition to warning residents of possible evacuations, the city is offering free sand and bags to city residents.

The materials will be available for Charles City residents at 1 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot at Hy-Vee, 901 Kelly St.

Residents are encouraged to bring enough people to help fill and load the bags.

City officials in Garner have their pumps at the ready. 

Crews are prepared to pump water from the sanitary sewers into the storm sewers, if necessary, to relieve pressure on the overloaded system.

It took similar measures after heavy rains last week.

"The pumps are loaded and ready to go," said Garner City Manager Randy Lansing. "And if they get called out, they know exactly where to dump them in."

During heavy rains, water enters the city's sanitary sewer system and exceeds its capacity. Two holding ponds designed to store water until the facility has caught up are already full, Lansing said. 



Load comments