Its been a wet week for Mahaska county and even for much of the state. Since this Friday morning, Oskaloosa has received more than four inches of rain since last Friday. All the storms and water have caused flooding in many areas around the state and even locally in New Sharon.
This is the first time we've had flooding over highway 146 and highway 63," says New Sharon Fire Chief Steve Gerard earlier this week. With both highways open today Gerard is preparing for more rain in the coming days.
For much of this week, residents in New Sharon have been coping with the affects of rising water levels on the North Skunk River. The water flooded over Highway 146 and 63 closing those roads. It also contaminated two of the four water-wells that New Sharon pulls its water from.
Officials are releasing new details of the proposed Highway 63 improvement project. Area leaders got their first look this week at a proposed route for highway improvements north of Oskaloosa. Plans were presented to the Steering Committee of the Southeast Iowa Transportation Coalition.
In another water related topic, Oskaloosa residents this week took delivery of Oskaloosa's 2012 Water Quality Results. The consumer confidence report is required by the Environmental Protection Agency and can look at a little confusing, so I asked what residents should take away from all the information.
Stacia McGriff, editor for the New Sharon Sun newspaper, said she's never seen flooding like this during the 25 years she's lived in New Sharon. She shared with us photos she took of the flooding as we interviewed her about the community's reaction.
(DES MOINES) – Governor Terry E. Branstad today issued a proclamation of disaster emergency in response to recent storms and flooding in northwest and central Iowa. Thirteen counties are included in this proclamation: Buena Vista, Butler, Cherokee, Floyd, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Mahaska, Marshall, Plymouth, Sioux, Tama and Wright.
The Oskaloosa Fire Department announced changes on storm siren procedures on Wednesday. The updates are being made in an effort to stay current with siren activation procedures. According to the press release, outdoor warning sirens will only be activated for:
Property tax, education and health care changes will affect Oskaloosa residents as a result of laws passed by the Iowa Legislature this session. The Legislature adjourned more than a week ago but not before finding compromise on those three main issues. CRI's Eduardo Zamarripa met with Oskaloosa's State Representative Guy Vander Linden for details.
In an effort to conserve water some business owners in New Sharon closed down temporally such as the car wash, the Laundromat and Country Inn Pizza. However, one eatery is keeping its door open by boiling water to wash kitchen utensils and are using disposable plates and cups.
The Oskaloosa Community School District announced on Tuesday the hiring of Mike Sterner as the new head football coach at Oskaloosa High School pending school board approval. Coach Jeff Barker of Winterset withdrew his name from consideration due to personal reasons.
Some people in Mahaska County are talking about the proposed regional airport to be located between Oskaloosa and Pella. They took their comments to a meeting of the South Central Regional Airport Agency last night. People for and against the project spoke.
Planting season for Iowa corn and soybeans lies between mid April and mid May to achieve the best yields. CRI's Jason Madison went to the farm this week to find out how one county resident is handling the chess game he calls farming.