Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Flood of 2010

July 26, 2010

Rathbun Lake flirts with record elevation

Rathbun Lake remains steady but yesterday's elevation of 926.70 is the highest the lake has been since July 28, 1993.

CENTERVILLE — Iowa's 2nd District representative following a aerial tour of Rathbun Lake and the Chariton River Friday afternoon said he intends to request federal funding for Appanoose County.

Rep. Dave Loebsack said he would support Appanoose County being declared a presidential disaster area.

"And if the governor recommends that a particular county to be declared a presidential disaster area, then I will write in support of that," he said.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver July 20 issued a disaster proclamation for Appanoose County following flash flooding. The proclamation authorizes use of state resources to help local officials to prevent and fight any flooding occurrences.

And Loebsack said he supports a plan put forth by Gov. Culver to have the Corps examine changes to flood management plans at Iowa's four reservoir lakes:  Saylorville, Coralville, Red Rock and Rathbun.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' reviews would likely cost $1-$2 million each and last up to three years a spokesman for the Corps said last week.

"I think it's important to make sure that we have the most recent information." Loebsack said. "These reservoirs were built many, many years ago."

Loebsack said he was amazed at the size of the lake and the extent of the flooding. The tour included a look at the lake and the length of the Chariton River downstream to Exline and Cincinnati.

Rathbun Lake is up and down but yesterday's elevation of 926.70 is the highest the lake has been since July 28, 1993 when it reached 927.17 feet. The second highest pool up until this year was Aug. 1, 2008 when Rathbun Lake hit 925.09.

The pool level at Rathbun Lake had been steadily increasing since Monday, July 19 when it was at 921.84. On Tuesday, July 20 it increased to 923.82 and on Wednesday, July 21 it was 925.82. Since Thursday, July 22, the lake elevation has remained relatively constant: Thursday 926.61; July 23, Friday 926.69;  July 24, Saturday 926.64; and then yesterday when it hit 926.70.

And yet one business on Rathbun Lake has remained open despite a near record water level.

Rathbun Marinas owner Douglas W. Clemens Friday afternoon said Lakeside Inn, Louie's at the Lake Restaurant, Buck Creek Store and boat shop are open for business. For information on Rathbun Marinas call (641) 724-3212 or go to www.rathbunlakemarinas.com.

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