The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

May 28, 2013

River watchers

OTTUMWA — Local officials may always worry about floods but say they're a long way from panicking.

But problems around Wapello County have already started cropping up. On Monday night, authorities ordered the bridge at Valley Village temporarily closed due to flooding. On Tuesday, the county’s Secondary Roads Department announced that 118th Avenue from River Road back to 48th Street was closed due to flooding and possible damage to the bridge there.

Yet Tuesday, 120th Avenue, one of the first rural neighborhoods to flood most years, was open, dry and had its normal level of traffic. A landscaper was mowing a lawn, and a visitor was on the river bow fishing. Across the Des Moines River, homes on Rabbit Run Road could be seen comfortably enjoying a river-front view.

But it's not just the river that worries officials. Jerry Calnon, Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator, said Jefferson County does not have any towns directly on the Des Moines River. But record rains mean they have to watch out for those roads that tend to get washed out; most are passable now.

“We are watching, but it’s not like we’re sandbagging anything at the moment,” Calnon said.

And the city of Ottumwa is actually adding water to the river, though it's water that would have gone in there anyway.

City public information officer Tom Rodgers said the water residents see being pumped from the Hydro parking lot in the Des Moines River is "rain water that has fallen in town and is basically trapped inside the levee."

Normally, that rain water leaves the city and shoots out a tunnel into the river. But the doors at the river end of the tunnel had to be shut, otherwise the rising river would enter the tunnel and fill up the storm sewer system. So with those doors closed, water has to leave town another way, hence, the pumps.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard color cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book

    ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • County signs law enforcement agreement with Eddyville OTTUMWA — A law enforcement service contract between Wapello County and the city of Eddyville received supervisors' approval on Tuesday. Beginning July 1, Eddyville will pay the Wapello County Sheriff’s office $3,833 per month or $45,996 for law enfo

    April 15, 2014

  • County considers hiring conservation aide OTTUMWA — On Tuesday morning, Wapello County Board of Supervisors will consider hiring a part-time conservation aide at its weekly board meeting. The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the board’s meeting room located on the third floor of the c

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Brush fire color photo 2 -T Brush fire breaks out on east side of city OTTUMWA — Late Friday morning, a fire broke out in a vacant area of trees and brush next to the Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility. Both the Wapello County Rural Fire Department and Ottumwa Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire,

    April 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wapello County Courthouse.jpg Courthouse to receive facelift

    OTTUMWA — First, Chief Wapello received a facelift. Now, it’s the county courthouse’s turn. On Tuesday evening, Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved spending $139,000 for repair and maintenance of the historic courthouse. Karr Tuckpointing o

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Another health care option OTTUMWA — If you didn't get your "mandatory" health insurance by the deadline earlier this week, you may have another option. Or two. "I'd certainly keep trying," said Greg Kenning, a Wapello County supervisor. He said it's his understanding that the

    April 2, 2014

  • Trial set in child pornography case OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man accused in a child pornography case will go on trial this summer. Rass Kerby Jr., is charged with enticing a minor to engage in a sex act or simulated sex act and possession of media of a minor engaged in a sex act. He was a

    April 2, 2014

  • Wanted: People who love history OTTUMWA — If you have a love for history, Wapello County has an interest in you. Wapello County Board of Supervisors is considering withdrawing from the State Historical Society’s Certified Local Government program unless interested people are willin

    April 1, 2014

  • 0530 OTT flood damaged bridge -L Bridge repair tops county's 5-year plan

    OTTUMWA — Road construction in Wapello County will be taking on a different look in the next three years. On Tuesday, County Engineer Brian Moore told the Wapello County Board of Supervisors bridge replacement will be a high priority. “We’ll have a h

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0321 OTT animal rescue league update color photo -L -M Animal van trial set

    OTTUMWA — Trial has been scheduled in the case that preceded the rescue of hundreds of animals in Drakesville. Roger Blew, 45, of Drakesville, has pleaded not guilty to the four criminal charges he faced in Ottumwa. Police charged Blew with one count

    March 20, 2014 1 Photo

AP National