April showers bring . . . lots of water

This pole north of town was busted and needed to be replaced on April 10, after high winds, with gusts up to 85 mph, hit the area.

This pole north of town was busted and needed to be replaced on April 10, after high winds, with gusts up to 85 mph, hit the area.

By Marcie Klomp

Mother Nature let loose the rains, then pulled back the reins for spring! She has not disappointed in showing that spring weather in the Midwest can change at the drop of a hat. In the past week-and-a-half, Howard County has been hit with snow, sleet, hail, wind, thunder and lightning and seven inches of rain.

A few days at the beginning of April were warm enough to melt some of the snow piles around town. Then came April showers, starting the evening of the ninth, when over three inches fell. Coming with the rain were sleet, hail and wind. At the Law Enforcement Center in Cresco, wind gusts of 85 mph were recorded. Those gusts sent a couple of vehicles into the ditch on Highway 63.

Sheriff Mike Miner reported that seven miles south of Lime Springs, a vehicle and trailer, driven by Jeffery Wickman of New Hampton was traveling southbound. “Strong winds caused the trailer to swing around, pulling the truck and trailer into the east ditch, where the trailer was separated from the truck. Both received substantial damage.”

In another accident, just north of Davis Corners, a semi truck and trailer were traveling south when a strong gust of wind blew them on their side. The driver was Michael Crouch of Elkton, Minn.

Miner confirmed LEC received numerous calls of trees and water over the roads. “Most was pretty much in the north part of the county, including the Lime Springs, Chester and north side of Cresco areas,” the sheriff added. “Wednesday morning I had to go to Florenceville, and there were buildings scattered in fields and the road was completely slush covered.”

Some of the rain water was absorbed into the ground, but a lot found its way to the Upper Iowa River where it did its yearly duty of flooding Lidtke Park.

Many of the residents along the line of East Street woke the next morning to rain water backing up into their basements through the sewer line.

City Maintenance Director Casey Sebastian has been keeping his eye on things. “Last Wednesday, there was way more volume in the sanitary sewer than there should be.” That led to the City calling in Municipal Pipe Tool Co. of Hudson, Iowa to find out where and why rain water is getting into the sanitary rather than the storm sewer.

Howard County Engineer Nick Rissman said in the past week there were 10-15 roads closed at one point or another. He did say, “We will be able to retrieve most of the rock from downstream ditches.” Most of the rock is retrieved using an excavator.

He went on to say that although much of the frost is out of the fields, it takes longer to come out on the roads. So, it is still hard to determine when they will all be in good condition.

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