Lehigh flooded Friday

LEHIGH — Ice jams backed up the Des Moines River Friday, causing flooding through Lehigh, according to Dylan Hagen, Webster County emergency management coordinator.

The flooding forced some residents to evacuate their homes, he said.

“A majority of the homes along the river are surrounded by water,” Hagen said. “I would say a majority of them have left their homes.”

Hagen was in Lehigh Friday afternoon to survey the damage.

He said Webster County Road P73, which leads drivers to and from Lehigh, was closed.

“The big concern has been all of the ice jams,” Hagen said. “That was what was backing up the river. Once the ice jams give way then the water goes down.”

He added, “It’s gone down a little bit.”

According to Hagen, a reported ice jam in Humboldt could cause problems in Lehigh.

“If that ice jam breaks up in Humboldt it could raise that water level back up to where it was today,” Hagen said Friday afternoon. “Depending on if that ice jam were to break all at once or if it slowly breaks, we may not have an issue. It could be another event like last night.”

On Friday, Lehigh volunteer firefighters helped to fill sandbags.

Hagen said no more volunteers were needed as of Friday afternoon.

Elsewhere in the county, Hagen said it seems as some of the water has gone down and a few county roads have opened back up.

Still, he cautioned drivers when traveling on secondary roads.

“Those gravel roads will still be soft and muddy,” he said.

Residents of Lehigh who have property damage from flooding are asked to email pictures to Hagen at ema@webstercountyia.org.

He asked that residents include their name, address, and the time the picture was taken.

Parts of Dolliver Memorial State Park and Brushy Creek State Recreation Area are closed due to flooding, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

The department reported substantial flooding in low-lying areas of Dolliver Memorial State Park. The park’s main road is closed between the open shelter on its north side and the playground.

Most of the trails in Brushy Creek State Recreation Area are closed. The 14-mile gravel trail to the lake remains open.

Avenue B in southern Fort Dodge was covered by water late Thursday night. City Engineer Tony Trotter said the river level peaked because of an ice jam. The nearby wastewater treatment plant was not affected by the flooding, he said.

The John W. Pray Water Facility and the city’s wells have not been impacted by the flooding either, he said.

Water closes more roads in Webster County

Parts of two more roads in Webster County have been closed due to flooding, the county engineer’s office has reported.

These roads are now closed:

• South River Road from the Fort Dodge city limits to 230th Street.

• Riverside Trail east of Webster County Road P59.