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Storm Lake sits relatively high, dry

Small watershed feeds lake, Outlet Creek

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Why hasn't Storm Lake flooded?

Because it’s among the highest spots in the state with a relatively small (20,000-acre) watershed, according to former Buena Vista County Drainage Engineer Daryl Burns.

The lake drains over the dam in Lakeside to Outlet Creek, which feeds into the Raccoon River.

It’s almost unfathomable that the Raccoon would back up Outlet Creek to the point of sending Storm Lake over its banks, Burns said.

Alta gets its name because it’s one of the highest points in Iowa. Storm Lake is just a few feet lower. Spirit Lake lies lower and has a much larger watershed and flooding problems affect the shoreline and developments along it.

Storm Lake, flooding

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