United Group Insurance

State able to overcome drought this year

News, Weather

December 22nd, 2021 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Looking back on the weather this year — Iowa flirted with some major drought issues before seeing relief. The D-N-R’s Tim Hall tracks hydrological issues — and says some communities did get to a point where their water sources were getting very low. “There was a concern back during the worst conditions in some parts of the state for rural water systems, especially those that rely on shallow groundwater on the edges of streams and rivers. They were concerned about demand outpacing supply,” Hall says.  The concern increased as drought levels continued to get worse.

“We were watching very, very carefully some systems in the state. Some had some voluntary water restrictions in place. It could have gotten a lot worse — except for some timely rains that we had,” he says. Hall says Iowa also was fortunate that when the rain came it wasn’t overwhelming for most areas. “There was one part of the state where we did have some flash flooding up in northeast Iowa. But for the most part, for the majority of the state for this year, the rain came in a gentle enough fashion that we didn’t have flash flooding, we didn’t have dangerous situations,” according to Hall. “So. it’s really nice to see the rain come in a low enough intensity that we don’t have to deal with the flooding side.”

Hall says the rainfall situation is always about location — and one big storm can make a difference. “There was part of northeast Iowa where they were being shown on the drought monitor as being in drought, while at the same time they had some localized short-term flooding situations going on. So, it can flip pretty quickly if the conditions are right,” Hall says.

Hall says the state was able to build back some of the water reserves lost toward the end of the year with fall rains. He says things are not totally back to a perfect situation — but are much better than when the drought was growing.