• Mike

Flooding starts for Rock Rapids, Iowa

As of march 14th 2019 this article is current.


A perfect storm of sorts is brewing over the Tristate area. Heavy snows fell and were quickly hit with a warm air mass that started melting them. Then heavy rains came and further melted the snow. The combined water mass of the snow and rain had nowhere to go since the ground was saturated by heavy rains right before the first snows fell. Shortly after our winter started the temperatures sank to record lows creating the situation we have now. The ground is saturated and frozen, and there is a ton of water sitting on top of it. Because of this the Rock River is flooding. We have been covering this flooding.


Taken below the bridge at Highway 9 across the Rock River at 4:00 PM on March 13th.

That same location only 24 hours later

As you can see the river rose significantly in an extremely short time.


According to the National Weather Service we are now experiencing major flooding. The projections have been going up over and over.


There is a great chance to do photography and get interesting pictures when nature does thing that are uncommon or rare. In this case having the river rise above the ice yields an interesting perspective.



You'd think that the water would be mostly clear however there are various shades of green and brown in the water that has risen through the ice. This is the result of tannins being leached into the water. Tannins are the same ingredient that gives tea it's brown color. Decaying plant matter has been sitting in the muddy and slow water for months and is now getting released.


When the yellowish brown water interacts with the bluish color of the clean ice and snow it produces some interesting shades of green, its also beautiful.






This is the same location only a day later. Island park is flooded out in Rock Rapids. The dam is barely a bump in the river. This gives us a chance to make beautiful images of something unique. The ice chunks are wonderful.



The river is as beautiful as it is wild right now. I love this smooth transition over the dam.


Looking upriver you can really see the volume of water that has to go over the dam. So far it looks impressive but hasn't been destructive.


With that said though things are looking very destructive if you frame the picture right.



Water is actively flowing over the roads in some places. In this case though it is only blocking a lane.


The weather right now is eery. It's also exciting to be able to capture it.


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