Summer in Iowa is a see-saw of rising heat and humidity, counter-balanced by thunderstorms that pour all of that moisture into the ground and cool the air before the cycle begins again. This past month, however, there has been more rain than feels usual—and the temperatures have been striking 90 degrees more often than I would expect. June, in other words, feels more like July and August. There has been so much rain, in fact, that many of the creeks are overflowing and flash flood warnings have been extended. We drove past a loop of the Walnut Creek this evening, and discovered a church parking lot next to the creek, filled with water.

Church Parking Lot

We checked out the same creek where it flows past our hair stylist’s building, and noted the creek is filled all the way to the edge of the banks.

Walnut Creek

And behind our house, where there is a woodsy walking path parallel to North Walnut Creek, the grass is swept flat in the direction of the lower-lying homes on the other side of the creek. Tree debris and logs are pushed back into the woods.

North Walnut Creek Tree Debris

A few years ago at this time of year, the bridge leading to our walking path washed out because of heavy rains. It was rebuilt, but you can see how full of silt the muddy-colored water is.

North Walnut Creek Bridge

When we went on vacation in northeastern Iowa earlier this month, we came home to a damp basement with some water in the carpeted area of our home office. Apparently there had been a power outage that lasted just long enough for our sump pump to turn off (it needs electricity to work, of course), and that allowed ground water to seep through the tiles beneath the house to soak the carpet. But it could have been worse. We used a wet-dry vacuum to remove as much water as we could, and ran a utility fan to dry out the carpet. John will shampoo the rug soon, and we should be good until the next sump pump crisis.

To combat the ever-present summer dampness in the basement, our dehumidifier is working full-time to remove moisture from the air. Every day, we dump the tank that pulls about a gallon of water from the air. Too bad I can’t send dehumidifier water to parched California these days!


But all of this is normal in Iowa, overall. People share similar stories about water in their basement every summer, and we all know that Fleur Drive in Des Moines experiences flooding every year. We don’t enjoy the water issues, but it’s a fact of life. We deal with it  and move forward. It’s life in Iowa, after all, and life goes on.

© 2015 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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1 thought on “Summer rains often bring flooding to Iowa”

  1. My grandpa used to say, “If the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise.” We’ve seen LOTS of rising creeks this Spring and Summer. Hope you can stay high and dry with a little help from your trusty dehumidifier.

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