BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Monday’s evening thunderstorms brought heavy downpours to parched southeast Iowa and brought the weather spotters out.
Rumors of cloud rotation over Fort Madison had residents, specifically on the east side of town, carefully gazing to the sky and then heading indoors.
Lee County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Steve Cirinna said there was cloud rotation detected over the city, but no funnels or tornadoes were reported. He said the biggest fear was flash flooding.
“We had a lot of rain come down real quick,” Cirinna said at about 8:30 Monday night. “The real big issue is if we keep getting this heavy rain we’re going to have some flash flooding.”
Flash flood alerts were sent out on emergency radio and cell phones at about 8:20 p.m.
“We sure can use the rain, but I just wish it would have come down a bit more gradually, the ground is so hard and dry, at this volume it’s running off pretty fast.”
He said a large tornado was photographed in a farm field in McDonough County in Illinois.
Facebook posts on Monday showed photos of rain gauges with over an inch in them and some were saying that more than two inches had come down in some areas.
Rain bands on Highway 2 slowed traffic to a crawl most of the way into Fort Madison at about 7:30 and heavy water was starting to build up along the curbs of main highways and streets with the typical small branches and shrubbery in the streets.
Cirinna said he had not heard of any reports of power outage or damage from the storm, but people needed to be wary of the potential flash flooding into tomorrow.