Earlier this week, Hawarden began to prepare for the worst after notice of potential flood threatened the area. But even after preparation, Thursday’s flooding caught some by surprise. Travis Waterman, Hawarden’s public director, described where the flooding began.
“It started with our Dry Creek on the south side of town. It reached really high, high levels, higher than we’ve ever seen,” said Waterman.
Dry Creek’s water made it to a nearby farm, flooding the fields and other areas. As the water subsided Friday, city officials realized another problem.
“We’re concerned with the river. There is an ice jam by the west bridge. We’re watching that. Water flow is still going under and around it. So, it’s not impeding the river and backing It up at all,” said Waterman.
The ice in the Big Sioux River continues to melt, increasing water levels daily.
“The river has breached a dike by L.G.Everist and started flooding the pit,” said Waterman.
This rising water is threatening homes of nearby residents like, Jaylene Topete’s parent’s, who have lived by the river for years.
“We weren’t prepared for this at all. And when I talked to him yesterday, the basement had just a little bit of water in it. So the basement has come up a lot overnight,” said Topete.
Topete says she plans to relocate her parents and hope their home can withstand the damage.
“My parents will probably go up to my brother’s house, which is three blocks east of here.
So they’ll probably go up there and stay up there until the flood waters recede.”
For Topete’s parents and others in the area, it’ll be a while before things are back to normal.