Ice Jams, Rising Rivers Cause Flooding Fears

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Trestle Trail Bridge over Beaver Creek collapsed due to ice jam on March 13, 2019. (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Recent rain and warmer weather have rivers across Iowa rising quickly and that combined with ice jams is causing flooding.

Flooding in low-lying areas is being seen from the Middle River and several creeks and streams in Warren County, causing water to flow into fields and some roads to be closed. The Redfield is also experiencing flooding from the Raccoon River.

Officials are keeping a close eye on the I-80 bridge west of Van Meter. Ice chunks in the South Raccoon River have been getting trapped under the bridge and scraping as it passes through. The national weather service says the river there is about two feet above flood stage but as long as the ice keeps flowing, the river should not rise above minor flood stage.

An ice jam on Beaver Creek near Johnston caused the Trestle Trail Bridge north of I-80 to collapse Wednesday. Polk County Conservation owns the bridge and says a timeline of repairs depends on weather and if the work can be done by in-house crews. They hope to have the bridge repaired by summer.

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