Flood barrier breached in Burlington allowing flood waters into downtown

BURLINGTON, Iowa — The flood barrier system in downtown Burlington has failed, flooding the Port of Burlington Welcome Center, the Memorial Auditorium, and affecting several other businesses.

Assistant City Manager for Public Works Nick MacGregor told News 8 that a HESCO barrier on the southern temporary flood wall failed at about 1:30 Saturday afternoon. He said there were a few city workers in the area at the time of the failure, but that no one was hurt.

The National Weather Service recorded a crest of just over 24.4 feet at Burlington at the time of the failure.

MacGregor said among the city buildings and private businesses impacted, another major concern is the flooding at the Market Street sanitary lift station, which has started to create backups along the sewer line.

The city has had to close several downtown roads to traffic, and has asked that people avoid the area to allow city workers access to the affected areas.

According to the National Weather Service, a flash flood emergency was in effect until 10 p.m.  People in the area are urged to seek higher ground and avoid driving or walking through flooded areas.

A worker at the restaurant The Drake, located along North Front Street said they had to evacuate their parking lot due to the flooding.

A post on Eastern Iowa Fireground’s Facebook page, which is a public safety watchdog account, said the barriers failed near the Port of Burlington.  The post indicates that the Post Office, County Attorney’s Office, the railroad tracks and the Memorial Auditorium were impacted, along with other areas.

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