img_3387Members of the Vinton Fire Department have begun setting up and filling the Hesco sand-filled flood barriers around the fire station, and employees of VMEU are also taking steps to protect Vinton’s elecric utility from flood damage.

The National Weather Service has revised its flood forecast up to 22.1 img_3383feet by Sunday night. The previous crest prediction was 19.6 by Monday morning.

The predictions are reminders of the historic 24.7 feet flood of 2008, but also the flood scare of June 2013, when volunteers joined a sand-bagging effort but the river did not rise as predicted.

Vinton City Manager Chris Ward said city leaders are watching the predictions and will let the public know if volunteers are needed.

Mayor John Watson also stopped at local schools to invited students to gather at the fire station area for help with sandbagging. Even the younger students can help, the mayor told school leaders.

“John said kids are perfect for climbing and stomping on sand bags,” said Tilford Principal Jim Murray.

The Benton County Conservation Department is also taking steps. Due to rising river levels Hoefle-Dulin and Milroy’s Access will be closed until further notice. Also, says Conservation Director Karen Phelps,  picnic tables and other equipment in other parks in the potential flood zone have been moved to higher ground. The walnut dye class scheduled for Thursday evening was also cancelled due to rising waters.

The Benton County Supervisors plan an emergency meeting for 9 a.m. Friday to discuss flood-related issues.

See the NWS flood forecast page for the Cedar River in Vinton HERE.