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Flooding Situation Improving in New Hartford

NEW HARTFORD, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Its been a long day for residents in new Hartford.

"Just getting the mud out of here before it dries, make it easier," resident Conner Ragsdale said, as he sprayed out his garage.

As of this evening several streets ARE still covered, and workers race to repair a railroad washed away by water. However, conditions in town are slowly returning to normal.

Clint Olmstead's sleep schedule has been anything but normal. For him and his fellow firefighters, the work began before dawn.

"We started evacuating the town at 3...3:30 or so telling people to leave," Olmstead said.

Long hours are something they've gotten used to lately, with 3 evacuations in the past stormy months.

"It's just hard for me to go to sleep, waking up and thinking 'what's going to happen the next morning, am I going to wake up with water all over?'" junior Firefighter Sam Schlamp said.

They say in each instance, quick action by the entire community softened the blow.

"Neighbors helping neighbors, that's small town America really," Olmstead said.

The damage this time was kept to a minimum.

"Some people got water in their garage, some people got water in their basement, nothing on the main floor which is really really good." Olmstead said.

Even though water levels seem to be going down, a good night's sleep isn't guaranteed.

"It should keep going down hopefully...but if not we'll go back at it again," Olmstead said.

The Red Cross says the shelter in Shell Rock will be open Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, they will re-evaluate the situation based on how many people show up and whether the situation in New Hartford improves.
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