A combination of surface water flooding and the storm sewer system being full Thursday morning led to flooding in parts of Spencer.
“We experienced localized street flooding in the northeast part of Spencer, as well as The Prime Rib area, Grand Plaza Drive, 13th Street SW, Fourth Avenue SW,” Public Works Director Mark White said.
White said the surface water and the city’s systems being full led to the flooding. The city had to bypass pump to the river in numerous areas so the system could catch up.
“You had surface water flooding, which was coming off higher-elevation farm fields or surrounding land,” he said. “That was an issue in some areas with the surface water running. And then, phase two of that would be the storm sewer was full, as well, or became full. So then you compounded that affect.”
Rain pounded the area, leading the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch until 1 p.m. and a flood warning until further notice. The rain rate is expected to lessen as the morning continues.
But the rain overtook the city’s systems early this morning.
“During the height of the event, we were at plant capacity at the wastewater treatment plan,” White said. “Our retention pond behind the plant was full and, to the best of our knowledge, most of the sewage system was full, as well.”
White said the system is catching up; however, there still could be issues on the northeast end of town. He said the system was still full in that area as of about 9 a.m. this morning.
“If people are having sewer issues in the northeast part of Spencer, that would be the reason,” White said.
Flooding in areas stranded cars and forced the city to close portions of streets.
Parents dropping off their children at Spencer Middle School this morning had to work around sections of 10th Avenue East that were flooding because the drainage ditch in that area near Cardinal Field was overflowing.
“That thing was full and it was backing up onto 10th Avenue (East),” White said. “I don’t remember ever seeing that before.”
White said the city has set up a sandbag filling station at the central garage, which is south of the high school and Shine Bros. Corp. on 10th Avenue SE across from Oneota Park.
Photo: Flooding on East 17th Street in Spencer.