Protect People

Tips for Flood Events

The National Weather Service provides many resources for protecting yourself and family during a flood event. The following highlights important tips to stay safe during extreme weather. For detailed coverage of these topics and much more, visit the link below.

National Weather Service: Flood Safety


Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning

A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible. A Flood Warning means take action. It is issued with the hazardous weather event is coming or already happening. Here are some local flooding signs:

  • Water affects Highway 1 north of the bridge
  • Water is at the bottom of the County Road W38 bridge
  • Water has overtopped roads such as 130th St., Kiwi Ave, Orange Ave and Poplar Ave
  • Agricultural land along the river begins to flood

Safety Tips During a Flood

Stay informed and get to higher ground. Tune into your local radio or television station, internet, and social media for flood updates. Do not enter any room or basement if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately. Lock your home as you leave and disconnect utilities and appliances if you have time.

Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Do not drive into flooded roadways, instead, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” Water can be deeper than it appears and vehicles can quickly be caught in moving waters and swept away. According to the National Weather Service, 12 inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.


Washington County Hazard Mitigation Plan

In 2012, the Washington County Hazard Mitigation Plan was developed by the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) to identify hazardous risks for municipalities and unincorporated areas. In order to be eligible to receive federal funds for pre-disaster mitigation, severe repetitive loss, and other funding sources, a Hazard Mitigation Plan must be completed by law. Washington County was recently awarded a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program grant to update the 2012 plan and 

Washington County Hazard Mitigation Plan 2012 


Real-Time Flood Predictions

The Iowa Flood Center developed the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) after the devastating floods of 2008. IFIS is a one-stop web-platform to access community-based flood conditions, forecasts, visualizations, inundation maps and flood-related data. Click below to view the English River Watershed on IFIS.

IFIS at English River in Kalona

The National Weather Service also provides Advanced Hydrologic Predictions for the English River at Kalona. The site displays real-time flood stages, flow rates, and probability information for weekly chances of exceeding flood stages. Click the link below for more information.

National Weather Service: English River at Kalona