Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ottumwa Braces for the Flood

Sandbagging operations were taking place Wednesday in Ottumwa as residents were preparing for flooding of the Des Moines River.

A large crowd of volunteers gathered to move sandbags in Ottumwa. Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uehling has urged residents who live near the river to be prepared to evacuate.

City officials are expected to close Ottumwa's Market Street Bridge in the coming days.

The gates are wide open on the Ottumwa Hydroelectric Dam. The river is expected to crest at 21 feet, one foot less than the record set during the flood of 1993.

Volunteers pitch in to place filled sandbags on pallets so they can be loaded on trucks and taken to areas of town where they are needed.

Some people gathered near the water's edge to get a look at the rising Des Moines River.

Local bow fishermen were taking advantage of the situation, watching for confused fish on the lower side of the hydroelectric dam in Ottumwa.

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