Heavy rains flood streets … briefly

A surge of rainfall hit Hamilton County early Monday morning, but the storm left just as quickly as it arrived.

While the rainfall total as of mid-afternoon on Monday in Webster City totaled at just 2.25 inches, city manager Ed Sadler said it came down so fast that storm sewers and some residential structures couldn’t keep up with it.

“Some roofs couldn’t handle it, some windows couldn’t handle it, and some gravel got washed out which we’ll have to clean up eventually,” Sadler said. “But, I took a drive around town at about 3 p.m. and everything looks pretty decent.”

Sadler also said that several manhole covers were blown off in low-lying areas. Creeks and other waterways were running fast on Monday afternoon, but they were not flooding their banks. Pools of standing water also developed on the Boone River trail and in low-lying grassy areas near Riverside Park on Monday.

While more storms are possible this week, Sadler said the city is not preparing for anything exceptional.

A flash flood warning remained in effect until 7 a.m. today.

Storms moving across Iowa knocked out power for several thousand people and damaged trees and a few farm buildings.

The National Weather Service said wind gusts were recorded between 60 mph and 70 mph in several locations, and several tornado warnings were issued Monday afternoon.

MidAmerican Energy says nearly 8,000 utility customers remained without power Monday afternoon. The biggest outage of about 6,200 was in Council Bluffs.

In western Iowa, the wind knocked over a grain dryer at the West Central Coop in Audobon and broke a gas line. So the Audubon County Sheriff’s office closed Highway 71 for a couple hours and evacuated some nearby buildings.

Flooding was also a problem in Atlantic and other areas that had received significant rain before Monday’s storm.