WHITTEMORE, Iowa — Last week, the town of Whittemore in Kossuth County was hit with eight inches of rain. Over the weekend, residents worked on soggy basements, pulling out carpet, furniture, and electronics all ruined by water. The town also had help from Kossuth County crews and Algona City trucks to haul away the ruined items.
“All of us have a real job we’re working at, so it’s great having the road department here for the county, City of Algona, plus the Whittemore staff,” said Whittemore Fire Chief Eric Goodman. “We did this in about four and a half to five hours, we had the town cleaned up, where if we were looking for volunteers in the community, it would have been a weeks’ worth of projects.”
The crews spent the morning in Whittemore, then headed to help out Fenton, 10 miles north.
“The city of Fenton still has quite a bit of material and debris from basements on their curbsides,” said David Penton, Kossuth County Emergency Management Coordinator. “They have what’s called a closed sewer system, and it’s pressurized. When the rain water came in, it caused the system to be overwhelmed.”
A recycling company from nearby Britt came to pick up dozens of old washers and dryers taken from Whittemore basements to be recycled.
While last week’s flood is being cleaned up, more water fell overnight on Kossuth County, keeping many county roads underwater.
“On Wednesday, we had a total of 32 roads that had flash flooding, and currently we have approximately 20 that are either underwater or washed out or damaged,” said Penton.
Officials in the Algona area will be watching to see if the East Fork of the Des Moines River will rise if a lot more rain falls.