OTTUMWA — More severe weather hit southeast Iowa Monday, with a tornado warning in Van Buren County and heavy rains almost everywhere.
Forecasters had thought there was a chance morning storms might sap part of the energy needed for storms later in the day, but one powerful storm formed at around 1 p.m. south of Ottumwa. As it moved into Van Buren County, it showed signs of rotation on radar, prompting the warning.
The Storm Predicton Center reported two houses were damaged on Jersey Avenue south of Highway 2 near Cantril. More extensive reports are not yet available, though there were no immediate reports of injuries.
Other warnings were issued in the northeastern part of the state.
The Storm Prediction Center said the threat would continue Tuesday. The SPC gave much of southern Iowa an enhanced risk of severe storms. That region stopped in western Monroe and Appanoose counties. The forecast was a considerable shift from earlier versions, though, which had placed much of Iowa at an enhanced risk of severe weather.
The National Weather Service said the storms will arrive after 1 p.m. Tuesday and may continue to about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Regardless of whether the storms are severe, they will bring rain no one needs. Rain is forecast on-and-off throughout the week. That’s bad news for farmers who haven’t had a chance to get planting finished, as well as for those who live along the river.
The Des Moines River is expected to hit moderate flooding Wednesday as it continues to rise. The river was at 13.3 feet Monday, but forecasters think it will hit a new crest of 16.1 feet Wednesday evening. It will drop after that, but not for long.
The rebound expected this weekend shows the effects continuing rains are having upstream. As reservoirs fill, they are releasing more water. By Sunday morning, the river will have an expected 47,600 cubic feet of water per second flowing past Ottumwa, a volume that will keep the river at 16 feet.
The river at Eddyville rose above 63 feet on Monday, enough to push it above flood stage.