Kaufmann Ave. flooding

This photo from the City of Dubuque shows stormwater still flowing into a hole on Kaufmann Avenue after Thursday night's storms had passed. The site between Francis Street and Central Avenue had been excavated for the installation of a box culvert.

A strong storm system bombarded Dubuque with rain on Thursday night, causing "extensive" flash flooding, but city officials reported little infrastructure damage today.

However, four families "were displaced due to utility shutoffs for safety," the city said. 

The National Weather Service reported that Dubuque County received 5.68 inches of rain from Wednesday morning through Thursday night. 

Dubuque Public Works Director John Klosterman said flash flooding in Dubuque was “extensive” in multiple areas, including on Central Avenue, West Locust Street and Clarke Drive.

“The storm sewer system just couldn’t handle it,” he said.

Manhole covers were dislodged, vehicles stalled in floodwaters in some streets, and water poured into some homes.

Crews also cleared stones from the roadway along Kaufmann Avenue between North Grandview Avenue and Chaney Road between 7 p.m. and midnight Thursday.

Water poured into a construction site on Kaufmann Avenue between Francis Street and Central Avenue, where the area had been excavated for the installation of a box culvert. Videos that captured the stormwater pouring into the hole have been viewed tens of thousands of times on Facebook.

City civil engineer Deron Muehring said today that the site sustained no permanent damage, but the flooding will delay work by one day while crews remove gravel and backfill material from the hole.

Even though the project is not complete, the partially constructed culvert rerouted water into the city's storm sewer system that otherwise would have continued racing down Kaufmann, he said.

Likewise, the Upper Bee Branch Creek corridor performed as intended despite continued construction on the railroad-yard-culvert phase of the project, Muehring said.

“It’s not functioning optimally, but it’s still providing a place for all that water to go,” he said. “It got pretty full last night.”

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