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Officials Watch Water Levels After Storm

CORALVILLE, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) -- The massive storms over the weekend did not do major damage around the Corridor, but the wet weather does have the people who watch local waterways on alert.

More water is gushing out of the Coralville Dam in order to keep lake levels low. As long as rivers downstream can handle it, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to brace the Coralville Reservoir for future spring rains.

"If we just get little spring rains here and there ... and it doesn't just linger on day after day and month after month, we should be in pretty good shape," said Operations Manager Dee Goldman.

Not like last year, when record rainfall brought reservoir levels near the top of the spillway, luckily, not cresting the top.

"We did exactly what we should have done to prevent those downstream from worse conditions," Goldman said.

In all of 2013, the Army Corps of Engineers was able to prevent $147 million in flood damages, which is a big number, considering it is only $40 million less than what they were able to prevent in all the years from 1958 to 2010.

Controlling the reservoir does not protect every waterway to the south, though. Heavy rains did cause some flooding in the English River near Kalona, a notorious spot for floods.

The river can swell very quickly, so Washington County Emergency Management Agency director Larry Smith is keeping an eye on things to keep people safe and dry.

Businesses along Highway 1 in Kalona plan to build an earthen dam to prevent water from reaching their properties this season.

"We're always very vigilant when we start seeing one and two inch rainfalls that come within a couple hours time frame," Smith said.

Campgrounds at the Coralville Reservoir open on Tuesday.
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