USA – Deadly Floods in Des Moines, Iowa

At least one person died in flash floods that hit areas around Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, 20 June, 2018.

National Weather Service (NWS) Des Moines said that 3 to 8 inches of rain that fell across the area late on Saturday. Ankeny recorded 8.72 inches (221.5 mm) of rain in 24 hours to early 01 July. The City of Johnston recorded 8.40 inches (213.36 mm) during the same period.

Fourmile Creek in the east of Des Moines reached a record high of 17.4 feet (5.3 metres) early 01 July, beating the previous record of 16.1 feet (4.9 metres). Walnut Creek also broke its banks, flooding nearby areas of Clive.

Emergency services including teams from Des Moines Police department carried out dozens of high water rescues of people trapped in flooded homes or vehicles. Some homes were evacuated in Clive, Des Moines and Urbandale. Shelters were set up for those evacuated. Other areas affected include Ankeny, Elkhart, Grimes and Johnston.

The City of Des Moines said that, as of 02 July, roads across the city are still closed in at least 8 locations. NWS Des Moines‏ said that river flooding along parts of the Des Moines River and Cedar River Basins will continue into early this week.

Parts of Iowa have seen flooding since a series of storms struck from early June. Areas in the City of Rock Valley were evacuated after rivers overflowed, and a train carrying crude oil derailed over a flooded bridge near Doon on 22 June.

Governor Kim Reynolds declared an emergency for Warren County county on 29 June. Warren County is the 27th Iowa county to receive a disaster proclamation from the June storms.

Levels of Fourmile Creek, Des Moines, during the floods 30 June to 02 July, 2018. Image: NWS / NOAA
Evacuations and rescues in Des Moines, Iowa, 30 June 2018. Photo: Des Moines Police dept

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Flood Summary

Last updated: July 3, 2018
Des Moines, Iowa, USA, June 2018
June 30 to July 1, 2018
Urban flood, Flash flood
Extreme rainfall


A - Clive
B - Des Moines
C - Ankeny
D - Elkhart
E - Grimes
F - Johnston


Rainfall level
221.5 mm in 24 hours
Ankeny - June 30 to July 1, 2018
Rainfall level
213.36 mm in 24 hours
Johnston - June 30 to July 1, 2018
River level
5.3 metres
Fourmile Creek, east Des Moines
Beating the previous record of 16.1 feet (4.9 metres), and above major flood stage 4.8 metres


1 person
Des Moines - June 30 to July 1, 2018
80 people
June 30 to July 1, 2018
estimated figure
40 people
June 30 to July 1, 2018
estimated figure