Although the city is facing significant increasing levels of water on parts of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, we do not anticipate the levees to be topped nor street and bridges in the immediate downtown area to be closed. However, some of the planned events have caused street closures in the downtown area. Several precautionary measures have been taken to maintain safety along the riverbanks where water levels continue to rise and move at a high speed. The public is advised to keep a safe distance from the riverbanks and honor all signage, barricades, fencing and closures in effect.
“We have several great events planned for downtown this weekend but at the same time we want people to be alert, exercise caution and keep a safe distance from the river banks,” said City Manager Richard Clark. “As the river rises, the threat of levee failure increases in parts of the city, particularly the Birdland area and the city is preparing to implement emergency evacuations if it becomes necessary. We hope evacuations will not be needed, but the city is prepared in the event it occurs, Clark added.
The city offers the following precautionary guidelines for the public:
- Avoid standing or walking by the river’s edge.
- Be prepared and stay alert to your surroundings should an unforeseen event occur.
- Do not come to an area to just look at the river. There will likely be some type of activity going on around the river and there is no need for undue risk.
- Avoid traveling through already flooded areas or areas in question. Downtown events will increase traffic and any unnecessary traffic will only make it worse.
- Plan your travel routes ahead of time. Due to street closures, which have the possibility of changing each day, other routes may become more congested.