Peoples' Weather Map


A 2018 Flash Flood in Winnebago County: A Twenty-First Century Sudden Strike

Winnebago county, Iowa

Flooding in Forest City, Iowa
Image Source: KIOW

In the twenty-first century lightning strikes and tornadoes are still threats in Winnebago County.  Although a long-shot, even another meteor might be possible. Warning systems now make tornadoes less dangerous to humans who take heed although all land development, wildlife, and often livestock are still at the mercy of the storms.  

In the twenty-first century in Winnebago County a common sudden strike is a flash flood such as the one that occurred in June of 2018.  Winnebago and Hancock Counties emergency management coordinator Andy Buffington could not recall anything like the events of June 2018 though he had lived in Forest City for 40 years and been emergency management coordinator for 20 years.  5 to 7 inches of rain fell at 6p.m. on Sunday June 24, most of it in the first 15 to 20 minutes. More rain fell as the evening progressed.

Some drivers, taken by surprise, drove their vehicles into deep water where they were then trapped.  Rescued by volunteers, police, or firefighters, no drivers were killed in this particular flash flood.  Those with water in their homes turned to neighbors for shelter. 

So much water came so quickly that the football field at Waldorf University, designed to accommodate rain, could not adjust to this downpour.  Water got underneath the artificial turf that then bubbled up.

This particular storm was preceded and followed by other rains that closed some roads some days.  

Source: on line: Mary Pieper, “Flooding Traps Drivers, Bubbles Football Turf in Forest City,” Globe Gazette, June 25, 2018.