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Heavy Rains Soak Iowa Campgrounds Too

August 9, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

Emergency crews were at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park near Des Moines, Iowa, today (Aug. 9) after overnight rains of up to 5 inches swamped campgrounds and left standing water across much of the state, the Des Moines Register reported.

Campers were brought ashore by rescue boat.

“It’s not a good day to play outside,” said 7-year-old Ari McKenney, shortly after being rescued by boat from their camper at Sleepy Hollow.

She sat at a picnic table with her two sisters and her mother, Trish McKenney.

“It started last night about 10:30,” said Trish McKenney, who farms near Bedford. She stayed up listening to the weather forecast and finally fell asleep about 2 a.m.

Early this morning she heard the sound of water. At first she thought it was rain on the roof but the sound seemed to be coming from all around the camper. She looked out. Four Mile Creek surrounded them and was getting higher.

“I never dreamed we’d be one of those families you see on TV being brought out by boat,” she said. Fire rescue workers brought the family to what had become a shoreline on the west side of the campground.

Robin and Travis Burnett have a recreational vehicle at Sleepy Hollow as a backup plan. Their home in the 2200 block of Northwest 56th Place was surrounded by water again today. So they went to their back-up residence at Sleepy Hollow and found it surrounded by water too.

“I’m thinking this is really, really bad luck,” said Robin Burnett. “I woke up this morning and had no yard. We came down here to Sleepy Hollow and found water inside the RV.”

Merle and Janice Handy of Martinsburg found their camper surrounded by water when they woke up. “We’ve been camping 30 years and this is the first time we’ve ever been in water,” said Janice Handy. “It’s the first time we’ve ever been rescued. It’s the first time for a lot of things.”

The Weather Service says an oppressive mass of air over western and southern Iowa today will cause dangerously high temperatures through at least the middle of the week. A heat advisory will be in effect from 1 p.m., today to 6 p.m. today for a wide area, including the cities of Leon, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, Chariton, Osceola, Winterset and Albia. Heat index values will reach 103 to 108 degrees.

Ben Moyer, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Walnut Creek at 63rd Street was close to a record crest this morning.Some rainfall amounts at 7 a.m., included 3.04 inches near Altoona, 4.06 inches at Albia, 4.05 inches at Newton, 3.8 inches near Nevada, 3inches at Grimes.

Even heavier downpours were reported in Story County where 5 inch totals were common. The official reading in Ames was 5.01 inches.

The Des Moines Airport was reporting 3.37 inches and the Weather Service in Johnston had 3.24 inches.

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