Areas of Monroe County inundated by over seven inches of rain
Between four and seven-plus inches of rain fell throughout Monroe County Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, swelling streams to beyond capacity and flooding farm fields and basements. More damage was reported countywide due to the deluge, which was one of the areas worst in recent memory. The National Weather Service (NWS)issued a flash flood warning until 8:15 this morning (Thursday) for western and southern Monroe County.
Several roads in the area were impassable, including Cty. Hwy. T between Norwalk and Highway 131, which was closed due to a mudslide. The Leon area had roads closed due to high water running over them as did areas of Farmers Valley south of Sparta off Highway 71.
In Sparta, Evans-Bosshard Park was almost completely under water, while upstream, fast water was reportedly threatening the construction area on East Main Street where workers are installing a new bridge over the Beaver Creek.
The Sparta Fire Department evacuated residents along Long Court, using their rescue boot. Fire Chief Mike Arnold said there was between three and four feet of water covering the roadway.
According to the NWS, the forecast doesn't look promising for a quick dry out and things could get worse. It said a few additional thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and again overnight tonight mainly south of Interstate 94.
Heat indices may reach 95 to 100 degrees across northeast Iowa into southwest Wisconsin this afternoon.
Another round of thunderstorms is likely to impact the area Friday into Friday night. Given the very humid air in place, storms will be capable of torrential downpours with rainfall rates of up to two inches per hour possible.
The NWS is warning that with some area rainfall totals exceeding several inches over the past few days, the flash flood risk will be greatly increased for areas that receive additional heavy rainfall from multiple thunderstorms. Some area rivers and streams are already running high from rainfall so far this week, and additional rainfall will lead to continued rises and possible flooding on area rivers.
Area residents with outdoor plans, especially near streams and rivers that are susceptible to rapid rises, should remain aware of the potential of flooding over the next couple of days.
Scattered thunderstorms are possible Saturday into Saturday evening.
Isolated thunderstorms are possible Sunday and again on Wednesday.