Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

July 18, 2012

Streams and rivers feeling drought's impact

OTTUMWA — It should surprise no one that the ongoing drought is having an impact on water levels in Iowa's streams and rivers.

What may be more of a surprise is just how widespread the impact is.

Water levels are tracked by the U.S. Geological Survey. Only along Iowa's western border, which is formed by the Missouri River, are normal water levels common. Isolated spots along the MIssissippi and Chariton rivers have normal flows as well.

Central and eastern Iowa are a mass of yellow, red and rust-colored dots on the USGS map, indicating water levels below normal. In southeast Iowa, only the Chariton River at Lake Rathbun qualifies as being normal. But the next gauge on that river, at Moulton, showed below normal levels.

In Ottumwa, the Des Moines River stood at 1.61 feet Wednesday, qualifying for below normal status. The South Skunk River near Oskaloosa was running higher at 6.84 feet, but was considered "much below normal" by the USGS.

Below is an interactive map of USGS checkpoints, based on information provided by the USGS. Water levels were current as of Wednesday afternoon.



View Iowa streamflow levels in a larger map

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