The National Weather Service says the Turkey River at Elkader in northeast Iowa has crested more than 5 feet below its 2008 record, relieving worried residents who'd been prepared for major flooding.
The service said the river crested at around 22.6 feet Friday morning and would return to below flood stage of 12 feet Sunday morning. Earlier the service predicted a crest of 27 feet and then lowered it to 26.5 feet.
The service also says major flooding is still forecast downstream at Garber.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Iowa Natural Resources Department staffers evacuated to the Decorah and Manchester hatcheries an estimated 150,000 rainbow and brook trout at the Big Spring Hatchery, which sits along the river near Elkader. There was concern the river would overtop a protective levee.
UPDATE: Central Community Schools in Elkader are closed today because of the flooding.
Authorities are asking people to stay away from downtown Elkader.
The Turkey River has been rising and is expected to crest this afternoon at about 26.5 feet.
The record crest is over 27 feet on June 10, 2008.
ELKADER, Iowa (AP) — Volunteers scrambled yesterday to build sandbag walls around businesses and some homes as the rain-swollen Turkey River threatened to breach protective levees in northeast Iowa.
Authorities say the flooding already occurring in Clayton County's Elkader and elsewhere is expected to worsen as the river is forecast to hit about 27 feet today in Elkader. That's 15 feet above flood stage and just three-quarters of a foot under the record crest of more than 27.75 feet in 2008.