Ames Among Saturated Cities After Heavy Rains

Sep 23, 2016

Ames is among the central Iowa communities recovering from heavy rains late Thursday night.

Assistant city manager Brian Phillips says parts of Ames received five inches of rain, much of it falling in about an hour.  And he says at least two manhole covers disappeared in the deluge.

"If there's a storm sewer that has a very large slug of water going through it, that can compress the air underneath the manhole cover," Phillips says, "and that compression pushes upward [and] can pop the manhole cover off."

Phillips says crews will replace missing ones as they clean up from the storm and he reminded drivers to avoid floodwaters as situations like these popped-off manhole covers can create deep standing water.

Some Ames electric customers lost power for about an hour after lightning struck two of the utility substations, Phillips says.

Low-lying areas of some roads were closed temporarily during the storm, including areas near downtown and in Campustown near the Iowa State University campus. But Phillips says all roads have reopened.

"We are having crews go through and check to see if there are downed tree limbs or other hazards," he says.

At least one household was displaced after a basement wall collapsed from the flooding, Phillips says, and some cars stalled in the water required assistance. He adds that neither Squaw Creek nor the Skunk River poses any flooding threat.