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Exceptionally heavy rainfall brings flash flooding in Franklin, Wright counties

News, Weather

July 8th, 2024 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Forecasters say parts of Wright and Franklin counties got up to a half-foot of rain overnight, bringing flash flooding to communities including Alexander, Clarion and Eagle Grove. Wright County Emergency Management Coordinator Jarika Beecher says many basements were flooded and many roads were impassible as municipal crews tried to keep up with the torrents.

Eagle Grove football field (Photo by Pat Powers)

“We had a lot of water taken in last night and a lot of city streets were overwhelmed with all the water that was coming in so quickly,” Beecher says, “but they did their best to stay on top of all of it and had some pumps going and both Clarion and Eagle but water still got in a lot of people’s basements.”

Despite all of her training, even Beecher wasn’t immune from the unstoppable forces of nature. “I have a house in Eagle and I had water in my basement as well. I think the drains were just overwhelmed. There’s a lot of water going in so the drains weren’t taking it,” Beecher says. “I’ve been talking with the Eagle Grove mayor, they’re going to try to figure out a game plan for this morning and try to help people out, but there’s only so much that can be done when that much water is being taken in all at once.”

Meteorologist Brad Small, at the National Weather Service, says Sunday night’s storms brought some extreme downpours to the region.  “We had a swath of what radar estimated to be four to six inches of rain from the Eagle Grove area through other parts of Clarion in Wright County and then near Alexander in Franklin County,” Small says. “We did have some personal weather stations record over five inches of rain in Eagle Grove and they were hit pretty hard with flooding overnight.”

The water has receded and most roads that were flooded are now open to traffic. Small says the weather will be changing by midweek and will start feeling more seasonal. “We’ve got a larger trend that looks like it’s pointing toward less precipitation and more summery conditions with more heat and humidity, especially as we end the week and into the weekend, when highs in the 90s will be more common for the weekend,” Small says, “and we’ll see heat indices well through the 90s, possibly touching 100 degrees in spots.”

No injuries were reported in this latest round of flooding.