OTTUMWA — Rain is back in the forecast after a mostly-dry weekend, but it shouldn’t be the repeated washouts southeast Iowa saw in weeks past.
The National Weather Service gives Ottumwa a chance of rain every day for the remainder of the week. The best chances are only 50-50, though, and the odds are lower on several days.
That’s good news for those who are watching the Des Moines River carefully. The river hit 16.28 feet last week, enough to reach moderate flooding in Ottumwa. It fell short of the predicted 18-foot crest, though, sparing many who expected to be flooded out.
The river has dropped to about 14.5 feet, but it won’t fall any further for the foreseeable future. That’s because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers raised outflows over the weekend to more than 40,000 cubic feet per second from Red Rock Lake.
Increasing the rate of release lowered the lake level from a high of 775.13 feet on Friday to 774.11 feet Monday morning. Data from the Rivergages website on the lake’s flood capacity was unavailable Monday, but last week more than 60 percent of Red Rock’s flood containment was already filled.
Severe storms are not likely, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Southern Iowa is at a slight risk of severe weather Tuesday, but last week’s widespread severe outbreaks are not expected to repeat themselves.