NEW HARTFORD, Iowa (AP) — Emergency management officials have told residents of New Hartford to be prepared to evacuate as water begins to run over the top of a gravel road that serves as a levee protecting the northeast Iowa community.
Ridge Avenue holds back Beaver Creek on the west side of town.
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management spokesman John Benson says there’s a considerable amount of water pushing on the road and some has begun flowing over the top.
The creek was at 13.1 feet Thursday afternoon and is expected to rise to 13.4 later in the day before subsiding.
The 500 residents of New Hartford have been told to prepare to evacuate if the levee breaks. If it does, officials say they’ll have about 90 minutes to get everyone out.
Meanwhile, officials in Johnson County have ordered a mandatory evacuation of two rural neighborhoods due to high waters from the Iowa River.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday ordered residents of Riverview Estates and the Izaak Walton League area to leave their homes. Utilities to the Riverview Estates neighborhood have been shut off.
Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports the mandatory evacuations mean residents have just a few hours to leave their homes before all services to the area are discontinued. People also have been encouraged to take their pets with them.
Officials say they’re asking residents in low-lying areas to voluntarily evacuate.
City officials are projecting the Iowa River will top the Coralville Reservoir spillway in the next several days.