PELLA, Iowa (AP) — People along the Des Moines River downstream of Lake Red Rock are being warned of possible flooding.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has increased the release of water at Lake Red Rock, between Knoxville and Pella, to 30,000 cubic feet per second — 8,000 more than the normal.
The increased flow is designed to preserve water storage space, though Corps of Engineers assistant operations manager John Holt said that some low-lying areas downstream could see minor flooding.
Holt said that although raising levels to 30,000 cubic feet per second might cause some headaches, much of the water will stay within the banks of Lake Red Rock.
"There will be some agricultural impacts," Holt said. "The good thing about it . . . it gives us a chance to get rid of water from the reservoir while it's not raining so we hopefully don't have to go to higher outflows."
WHO-TV reports that engineers say the water behind the dam is expected to keep rising, as will the outflow. The corps says that when the pool reaches 776 feet above sea level, the outflow gradually will be raised to 35,000 cubic feet per second.
The record pool level at Lake Red Rock is about 782 feet. It was set in July 1993.
"That's in the hands of Mother Nature," Holt said when asked if the lake could approach the record. "And what amounts to how much rain we have in the next couple of months and where it falls."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.