Severe flooding occurred on May 23, 2004, in the Turkey River Basin in Clayton County and in the Maquoketa River Basin in Delaware County following intense thunderstorms over northeast Iowa. Rain gages at Postville and Waucoma, Iowa, recorded 72-hour rainfall of 6.32 and 6.55 inches, respectively, on May 23. Unofficial rainfall totals of 8 to 10 inches were reported in the Turkey River Basin. The peak discharge on May 23 at the Turkey River at Garber streamflow-gaging station was 66,700 cubic feet per second (recurrence interval greater than 500 years) and is the largest flood on record in the Turkey River Basin. The timing of flood crests on the Turkey and Volga Rivers, and local tributaries, coincided to produce a record flood on the lower part of the Turkey River. Three large floods have occurred at the Turkey River at Garber gaging station in a 13-year period. Peak discharges of the floods of June 1991 and May 1999 were 49,900 cubic feet per second (recurrence interval about 150 years) and 53,900 cubic feet per second (recurrence interval about 220 years), respectively. The peak discharge on May 23 at the Maquoketa River at Manchester gaging station was 26,000 cubic feet per second (recurrence interval about 100 years) and is the largest known flood in the upper part of the Maquoketa River Basin.
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USGS Numbered Series
Flood of May 23, 2004, in the Turkey and Maquoketa River basins, northeast Iowa