Flood Records Smashed in Ames, Human Toll One Too Many

UntitledWhen it comes to severe weather, people think of tornadoes, hail and wind.  But what’s plagued Iowa this year more than anything is rain, and lots of it.  NEXRAD estimates show a large band of 3-5” of rain falling just upstream of Ames.  With more rain falling as this water reached the town, it was the perfect storm of flash flooding.  Flooding that shattered the 1993 record there is ongoing along the South Skunk River and Squaw Creek. And the storms serve as a reminder of the dangers of flash flooding and the deadly impact they can have.

The Des Moines Register reports that one person is missing after three vehicles were swept away by the flash flood waters overnight.  It happened in Altoona along Mud Creek.  Authorities say 11 people between the ages of 17 and 21 were in the three vehicles and this morning, one remains unaccounted for.  This serves as a horrible example of what the National Weather Service says over and over again, “turn around, don’t drown.” 

It doesn’t take a lot of water to take a vehicle off the road.  the force of flood waters is a lot stronger than it looks. 

Further south, the east side of Des Moines is reporting record flooding along Four Mile Creek.  A number of trailers were destroyed as many residents were forced to evacuate overnight.  So far there’s no indication anyone was lost in Des Moines.

Back north in Ames, the water is also dealing a blow to Iowa State University just before classes begin.  As sandbagging efforts continue, the Register reports the basketball floor at Hilton Coliseum is under 8 feet of water.

So how did this all happen?  Bottom line is the rains hit specific points at the worst possible time.  NEXRAD estimates show a large band of 3-5” of rain falling just upstream of Ames.  With more rain falling as this water reached the town, it was the perfect storm of flash flooding.

if you have pictures of the flooding situation in Des Moines or Ames, you can email them to us at [email protected]

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