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River to crest Saturday night

Officials urge residents next to river to take action

March 22, 2019
Estherville News

Emmet County Emergency Management and Estherville city officials are warning residents along the west fork of the Des Moines River to take immediate precautions. The following is a letter from the city and emergency management that explains the situation.

"The National Weather Service has predicted the West Fork Des Moines River will crest at 15.9 feet on Saturday night. For reference, the flood of 1993 crested at 15.38 feet and the record is 17.7 feet in 1969. This is only a forecast, however we are planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

"We will be strategically placing pallets of sandbags in the vicinity of this flooding for residential use. Feel free to use them as needed.

Article Photos

The West Fork of the Des Moines River is expected to exceed last year's high mark of just under 15 feet. The National Weather Service forecasts the river to rise to 15.9 feet by Saturday night. Portions of West South First Street and West North First Street were blocked off Friday.
Photo by David Swartz

"West North First Street will be closed from just north of Woody's to just short of West Third Avenue North. West South First Street will be closed from just south of the pool to Valley Drive. It is possible that Valley Drive will be inundated and impassable.

"An evacuation order could potentially be issued for Valley Drive as the situation unfolds. In the event of an evacuation we have identified evacuation locations with the help of the Red Cross.

"The potential for a surcharge in the sanitary sewer system is high and one should consider plugging the floor drain in their basement if they have concerns about backflow. If you plug the drain, be sure to sump pump any water out of the basement.

"While we have sandbagged the electric transformers, the potential does exist that electric service may be lost in the areas adjacent to the flooded area.

"If you have questions, please call the Estherville Police Department at 362-3515 and they will forward the calls to Emergency Management Director Travis Sheridan.

In the case of an emergency, call 911."



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