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Iowa City Flood Waters May Soon Start Falling

JOHNSON COUNTY (CBS 2/FOX 28) - Flooded out residents in Iowa City and Johnson County may be able to get back into their homes within a few days.

The US Army Corps of Engineers cut the amount of water coming out of the Coralville Reservoir Dam again today, a day ahead of earlier expectations.

The Corps cut the outflow to 14,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) at 10:25 Thursday morning, something they hadn't anticipated doing until Friday.

The agency says it will make a further drops on Friday and Saturday - although if heavy rain falls upstream they may have to increase outflows.

What that means for Johnson County residents who have been forced from their flooded homes for the past two weeks is that those waters are starting to fall back into the Iowa River.

At this time, however, all three mandatory evacuation orders in the county are still in place.

The Corps says it takes about two hours for a reduction to actually make an impact on the Iowa River downstream of the dam.

When the outflow is reduced to 12,000 cfs water will also finally start coming off Dubuque Street in Iowa City, a major access route into the city from the north.

"We're not making any guarantees" of when the road will be re-opened public works director Rick Fosse says. Once the waters leave, crews will have to take a look at whether they did any damage to the roadbed or surface.

Right now Fosse is predicting at "early next week" for it to re-open.

Meanwhile, with the reduction of the outflow from the dam, Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabec lifted the two-week old boating ban on the Iowa River at noon Thursday.

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